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5 Reasons You Should Pick-Your-Own This Summer
Posted By makennagoodman On May 10, 2009 @ 11:29 pm In Garden & Agriculture | No Comments
Summer is getting closer, and the days of fresh vegetables and local harvests are near. But this doesn’t mean only those with farms and gardens should feel the amazingness of picking their own crops. You may recall a moment last year when your friend asked, “Are those your blueberries?” when you brought pie to the potluck.
“Uh, no,” you may have replied, “Ummm. Yeah. No. Umm. Zabars.” Well, this summer is different. This summer you can say, “Yes. Those are my blueberries. I picked them, I froze them, and I used them for this pie.” Not just for bragging rights. This is cause for celebration, I think; it’s possible for even the most urban people to can their own jam and harvest their own rhubarb.
Yep. Anyone can farm for a day, and then have a freezer stocked with fresh goods for the rest of the season. And the news gets better. You don’t need to quit your job, move to the country, and plant a blueberry patch. No indeed. You don’t even need an urban garden or a square-foot window box. In fact, for all those people out there without your own gardens and without the desire to tend one ever, you can still have your own fresh food—all you have to do is pick your own.
Pick-your-own, also called U-Pick or PYO operations, are said to have started in the Depression era, when farmers couldn’t afford to pay their pickers, so they cut out the middle man and had the consumer come straight to the source. Now it’s become a fun and sustainable tradition that benefits both the farmer and the consumer. Whether it’s CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) offering seasonal trips to their “sponsor” farms where members can pick as their heart desires, meet the farmers and put a ‘face’ to the contents of their plates, or farmers who’d rather not deal with the weekly market fees or corporate commissions—picking your own is a good way to support your local growers, get fresh air, and stock your fridge affordably. Prices are really fair, and decided in different ways; one PYO I went to left a pail by the gate of their pumpkin patch, and pickers gave what they could. Some farms hand out rubber bands, and charge per band (assuming one band gathers one bunch.)
Here’s why you, your family, and your friends should choose to Pick-Your-Own this summer:
So now it’s time to get started; the summer is basically here.
*Find your local Pick-Your-Own farm. Click on your state, and start the planning process! www.pickyourown.org 
*Learn more about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Check out Sharing the Harvest: A Citizens Guide to Community Supported Agriculture  by Elizabeth Henderson & Robyn Van En
*Get started on making preserves. Check out: Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation  by Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivant
Article printed from Chelsea Green: http://www.chelseagreen.com/content
URL to article: http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/5-reasons-you-should-pick-your-own-this-summer/
URLs in this post:
 preserve food without canning: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/preserving_food_without_freezing_or_canning
 www.pickyourown.org: http:// www.pickyourown.org/
 Sharing the Harvest: A Citizens Guide to Community Supported Agriculture: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/sharing_the_harvest_revised_and_expanded:paperback
 Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/preserving_food_without_freezing_or_canning:paperback