|We found a tiny hidden treasure|
If you would like to venture over to your local farm to do some berry picking, here are some tips:
Supplies You Will Need
- Sturdy shoes to protect feet and that are good for walking
- Clothing appropriate for the weather and activity
- Insect repellent
- Do a Web search to find your local farms and determine which ones offer picking and what is in season- strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apples are the most popular in our area.
- Teach your children which fruits are ripe and acceptable to pick.
- Allow them to taste the fruit (if it's organic).
- Set a time limit or weight limit so you don't pick more than you can use.
- Who can find sweet, ripe fruit?
- Who can think of animals that would like to eat the fruit?
- Who can identify fruit that is unripe or overripe?
- Explain how fruit is formed, how it starts from seed and what a plant, bush or tree depends on to grow the fruit we eat.
- Discuss how the food does not come from a grocery store, that is has its origins here at the farm.
- Talk about pollination and the types of pollinators.
- Explain how humans used to hunt for and gather their food, then how farms began and how and why people go to grocery stores to buy food.
- Discuss the food chain.
- Give each child a container to put their picked fruit in to prevent bickering.
- Remember to be respectful of the bush, plant or tree and explain that you only pick the fruit.
- Try not to be wasteful and only pick what is ripe and the amount you need.
- If you find critters or items such as nests, it's ok to observe but leave them where they are.
- Watch out for poisonous plants.
- Before eating the fruit, inquire whether it has been sprayed with pesticide.
- Never walk barefoot, you never know what is in the thick grass of the picking field.
- Always know what you are picking! Other plants may find the picking fields make a good home, but don't pick any berries or fruit they produce.
- Never venture away from the picking fields. It is easy to get lost.
Encourages exercise, relaxation, exploration and awareness of ones surroundings. Provides the opportunity for lessons on the food chain, agriculture and horticulture and stimulates appreciation for what nature provides.