Fruit picking is a time honored tradition that is experiencing a ressurgence these days. As more of us strive to ” buy local,” and even organic if we can, the old idea of picking your own fruit at the farm has once again become novel and new. With such an abundance of choices in California, we are lucky enough to have a great variety and a very long season for fruit picking. Having recently come across a few fruit farms, I was surprised to find how “local” many of these “pick your own farms” really were. With a bit of research, I also came across a great site, www.pickyourown.org that provides a wonderful seasonal fruit calendar, directory of fruit picking farms by county and directions to ensure your adventure doesn’t leave you wondering if you have left the state. With cherries, blueberries and many stone fruit in full season, this is a great time to plan a morning out the farm. It’s a far cry from brunch on the patio, but couldn’t we all use a little change?
Several of the farms noted on the site even grow “pesticide free’ fruit and offer organic options such as Bertola Family Farms and Big John’s Cherry Ranch (both located in Los Angeles County). Many of these farms also offer great activities for families with children including hay rides and petting zoos. If you are wondering how physically challenging fruit picking is, don’t. You can pick a lot or a little and if you want, you can even buy the rest at the farm’s concession stand. The idea is to get out there, breathe fresh air, reacquaint yourself with the food you eat and rediscover where it comes from. Only then can we truly appreciate the effort that has gone into producing something as simple as a bowl full of cherries.
For more information on pick your own farms, visit
Photo credit – sk8geek (Flickr)