We do a lot of business with pick-your-own. In fact, it has become the core of our retail offerings. To help you get the most out of your experience, here are a few tips:
DO: Come prepared. You probably don’t need hip boots in our well manicured fields. But high heels are not a good idea (don’t laugh, we see it pretty often). A hat is also a good idea for berry picking. Sunscreen is advisable.
DO: Come early in the day. Several reasons: 1) it gets hot in the afternoon; 2) the morning light gets under the vegetation (on the eastern side) to make it easy to see; 3) you’ll beat the crowds and have easier picking.
DON’T: Stop at the first sight of fruit. Chances are good, everybody else stopped there too and already picked the good stuff. Spend a few minutes wandering around so you know if you are in a good spot.
DO: Try a bite. Yes, you technically should wash your food before you eat it; but we never use any chemicals within the designated “pre-harvest interval.” Which means you don’t need to worry about residues. And since the BIGGEST factor in a fruit’s flavor is its degree of ripeness, you’ll want to learn quickly how to know by sight how ripe the fruit is. And the best way to learn is trial and error. In short, we want you to harvest the fruit you think tastes best.
DON’T: Eat all our profits without paying for them. As we say, “sampling is encouraged, gluttony is theft.” You wouldn’t eat your way through the local grocery store would you? Why would you do it to your local farmer? Seriously, we ask these kind of customers to leave.
DO and DON’T: Enjoy your stay, but don’t stay all day. This is tricky for us: we are an authentic family farm with wide open spaces and a laid-back approach to crowd control. But if everyone spread a picnic blanket under every tree, it would be more like a city park than a farm. We want to be a farm. So you are welcome to have lunch at our picnic tables, and we want your kids to run and do cartwheels, but please be mindful that we are not a park.
DO: Ask an employee for advice on the varieties, and the best places to pick.
DO: If picking a fruit that is sold by weight (not apples), feel free to bring a container if you like your container. Or use the ones we have available.