It is blueberry season here in South Carolina. Unfortunately, a frost on Easter wiped out most of the crop. Many U-pick farms were not open this year and I had to drive a respectable distance to find a source for this year’s produce. Taking advantage of local produce in season not only favorably impacts your wallet, but lessens your carbon footprint.
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to help make your trip a pleasant one.
- Call first, find out what forms of payment are accepted, hours of operation and exact location. Ask if they spray.
- Go in the morning.
- Talk to the person running the stand. Ask what areas are best for picking or anything in particular to watch for. (Snakes!)
- Wear older clothes and sturdy socks and shoes. I promise, it’s not a fashion show.
- Bring bug repellant.
- Do not put children in their cutest outfits. Yes, it’s a nice photo-op, but that only lasts five minutes. Soon they are sticky, dirty, and covered in fruit juice.
- Bring a friend or an iPod. Picking produce isn’t exactly a laugh a minute.
- Most farm owners don’t mind produce sampling, but be honest, if you ate more than you picked pay for it.
- Bring a kneeling pad. Your knees will thank you.
Good luck and have fun.