Pick Your Own Produce: Flavor and Fun!

Strawberry Fields

U-Pick strawberry fields forever! Over the weekend, I took a trip with friends to do some berry-picking at the Carlsbad Strawberry Company. Seriously, what a great way to celebrate Spring! Sunshine, fresh air, and a moment of Zen to fully dedicate our thoughts to the perfection that is a peak-season berry.

For this particular farm, the price is unfortunately steeper than buying the same in-season berries at the grocery, but you’re really paying for the experience (just think, it’s less of an investment than a trip to the movie theater). Plus you’re able to focus on quality over quantity, and scour the fields to fill your basket with only the most perfect, plump, ruby-red specimens.

U-Pick Strawberries

If you have kids to bring along, it’s a good opportunity for them to understand how food is produced. Also, being involved in the process tends to get little ones excited about eating the healthy fresh produce they brought home!

A great resource for learning about U-Pick farms near you is the database at pickyourown.org. Growing up in Florida we had a few strawberry farms around, but after a quick search I’m super impressed with the variety of U-Pick options available over the course of the year here in San Diego county. In fact just around the corner, starting May 1st, you can pick your own certified organic blueberries at Fairfield Fruit Company in Pauma Valley. Then from late August to early October, Apple Starr Orchard in Julian offers five varietals each of apples and pears, also certified organic.

I was hoping to find a source for U-Pick avocados (since Fallbrook in the north county is the “Avocado Capital of the World” and all…) but it doesn’t seem like any places offer it. If any readers can correct me, please do! If not, I guess I’ll just have to postpone my California produce fantasies until I have a yard and a tree of my own.

U-Pick Strawberries

While I look forward to my next harvest, right now I’m swimming in strawberries and loving it! Tune in later this week for a sweet recipe to celebrate strawberry season!

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