I Pick, U-Pick...What's a U-Pick?
Wait what are you U-Pickin'?
A U-Pick or PYO (pick your own) is very much what the name implies; folks get to pick their own produce directly from the farm. It’s a fabulous way to know where your food comes from, have a direct say so in what you are buying, and ultimately eat the freshest stuff imaginable! Some of the most popular U-Picks are cherries, berries, apple orchards and pumpkin patches. These are great kid friendly spots and fun excursions to make a day trip to do something new and exciting.
How does a U-Pick Work?
Before planning your trip to your local U-Pick, we urge you to call the farm ahead of time to make sure they are open, as things like inclement weather, and a busy season could have prompted them to close their doors early. Also find out if you should bring your own bag/box or if they supply you one and if so what is the cost?
Some U-Picks will charge a flat rate; perhaps $10 per bucket they provide, while others will charge per the actual weight, which is typically by quarter or pint. Its not uncommon for U-Picks to charge a nominal entrance fee either usually under $10.
As U-Picks continue to grow in popularity, many farms have a lot more features than just picking produce. They really see the value of making the trip a family experience and sharing their world with folks. Many U-Picks will also have farm stands and sell other local famers products, such as local honey, confections, farm fresh eggs and produce.
More and more U-Picks are even having onsite restaurants or cafés to help satisfy your taste buds after a long, hard day out on the field. What better way to end you day with you bags packed full of fresh berries, but to sit and relax and eat a true, farm to fork meal.
We encourage everyone to check out a U-Pick at least once before the summer is over, it’s a great opportunity to see where food comes from, meet the people who take care of the land, and it gives you a new found respect for a different way of life.