Okay, I’ll admit it – in some ways, going to a farm and paying money to pick and purchase fruit might seem a bit ludicrous. Especially when it would be cheaper to buy the same amount of apples at the grocery store. If nothing else, it’s a brilliant move on the part of farmers – why harvest your own crop when you can get people to come pick it and charge them?
Yet, cynicism aside, there are a lot of great reasons to go apple picking. Here are our top five:
1. It’s fun for the whole family!
This past weekend I took my three kids (including my 6-week old twins!) to a local farm to pick apples. We were accompanied by my mom and brother, my cousin and her one year old (Aidan), and my sister’s kids (Grace, Eoin, and Bria). My mom and I carried the twins in their Ergo carriers while the older kids climbed through the trees, plucking the ripest apples they could find. Meanwhile, little Aidan crawled in the grassy orchard, exploring the dirt, sticks, and apples on the ground. Apple picking truly has no age limitations, making it a great activity for families.
Fall is beautiful – the leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp. Yet too many kids miss these beautiful aspects of the season because they are cooped up inside with their eyes glued to a television. Nature is good for kids – mentally and physically. Apple picking is a great way to help your little one engage with the outdoors.
If your kid’s only experiences with food are in a restaurant or grocery store, they are missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Picking apples right off the tree introduces kids to farming. If your kids are older, your can start a conversation about GMO produce (and the fact that local farms provide GMO-free produce!), the nutritious benefits of locally grown food, and the positive impacts local farms have on our environment.
4. It supports local farmers
Yeah, it might cost more to buy apples from your local farmer, but by doing so, you are supporting a local business, not a corporate supermarket. Instead of buying from a middleman, you are purchasing your fruit directly from the farm, meaning they get the full profit!
Apple picking almost always goes hand-in-hand with hayrides, and who can resist a bumpy jaunt around the farm while being pulled by a gigantic tractor? Hayrides are a great way to celebrate a successful day picking apples in the orchard.
At the end of the day, apple picking is a fun, family friendly activity that supports local farmers and you get to take home scrumptious GMO-free fruit! The fun doesn’t have to stop with picking – once you have all those apples, you can extend the family fun by using them for baking, crafts, and more! So toss the cynicism aside, find a local farm, and pick them apples!