It is open season for berry picking and there are many great things to look forward to when going to try berry picking at your local community. As we get into the midsummer peak of the season, the local farmers are working hard to provide the freshest fruit and produce to be picked. Fresh-picked berries create a variety of healthy and delicious opportunities, whether eating fresh off the stem or storing and freezing to make pies and smoothies to enjoy later!
Five Reasons to Visit a “Pick-Your-Own” Farm
1. Better Nutrition: The nutrient value of the fruits, vegetables, and berries are the highest when they are just picked ripe and eaten soon after picking.
2. Physical Activity:Moving around the farm and berry fields involves a lot of walking as well as standing, kneeling, and bending over to pick your berries. Carrying back a heavy basket filled with juicy strawberries is a fun way to add some more activity into your day.
3. Open Fresh Air: There is a healthy sense of calm when spending time in the quiet countryside and being disconnected from technology. Feeling the smell of the fresh air and berries may help us feel a stronger connection to the Earth which can benefit our mental health. There is also a satisfying sense of accomplishment that also comes as you fill your basket full of berries while working hard to pick your harvest.
4. Support Local Farmers: Most farmers compete with other larger business competitors that import their produce to your local grocery stores. When you buy food directly from a farmer, you help support the farmers way of living. Visiting your local farmers market or pick-your-own farms can help establish a better connection to the place where your food comes from and help support the local farm businesses.
5. Pick the Best Produce: It is called “Pick-Your-Own” for a reason! Unlike the pre-packaged fruits and berries that you might find in grocery stores, when you pick your own you can control for perfection every time! This way you can avoid any spoiled, moldy, overripe and squishy berries that might be waiting to surprise you at the bottom of the container!
Some more of the many benefits of going berry picking on a farm include:
- A stronger connection with your food for you and your kids
- Promotes healthy food choices
- Supports the local economy and community
- Try new delicious recipes with freshly picked fruits
- Fun summer activity for the whole family
Check out harvestontario.com/ to find local Ontario farms or just try a Google search to find a farm near you!