In light of the current COVID-19 situation, I’m taking this summer to explore more of our outdoor entertainment options. Lucky for us, our little area in Pennsylvania is full of excellent places to adventure in the great outdoors. To start off, I thought I would bring Mini and Brother to a few of the local pick-your-own fruit farms for strawberries, cherries, and blueberries!
Note: Please visit each location’s site (linked if you click their name in caps) to find out their current pick-your-own situation. I’ll be updating this post as we visit more places, and picking seasons tend to be short, so make sure you bookmark or like the places you’d like to visit and be sure to get there on time next year if it’s already passed!
pick your own strawberries
Our first trip was out to B & R FARMS in Ringtown, PA! This one is a bit of a drive for us but it’s in the town where I grew up, and owned by family friends, so it’s a must-do. Plus, Aunt Cake met up with us for this adventure!
Sweet and simple: pull up to the cart, find out which row is yours, and pick away! Buy a bucket or bring your own. Pay per pound when you’ve finished- cash only. We paid about $6 for a big bucket. Mini filled our entire bucket himself and asked to do it again. Who knew a 3 year old could love manual labor so much? Ha. (P.S. I did. He also loves to clean. I know, right?)
We didn’t personally check it out because Angus was getting cranky (yay, teething), but they also have other seasonal produce available and some really beautiful flowers. 10/10. Honestly, this was my practice run to see if we would continue and we all had a blast so onward we go…
Pick Your Own Cherries
Fun fact: Cherries are my favorite fruit! My tiny humans love them, too. I originally planned to get to SHANESVILLE FRUIT FARM right at the start of their pick-your-own season but life happened and we ended up strolling in on one of their last days. Our timing, combined with some COVID-19 restrictions, actually led to an extra entertaining visit with my boys.
Cherries, both sweet and tart, are the only fruit you can pick yourself at Shanesville, but they do maintain a seasonal stand along the highway for other produce. The stand opens a little later in the season so we headed straight for the pick-your-own location The cherries are on short trees in a fenced-in area by the farmhouse. The workers helpfully offered a basic plastic grocery bag for us to carry our cherries and away we went.
Mini and I had to get a little creative with our picking with no ladders and not many cherries left on the trees. He hunted down the ones low to the ground and we worked together to get the ones up high. Our acrobatics may actually end up being my favorite memory of the summer. Of course, Brother helpfully hung out on the ground at our feet and took in the sites and sounds. (Heads up: As part of protection against cherries being stolen by pesky creatures, loud bird sounds are played from a speaker on the fence. It is very loud and there is very little silence.)
A farm worker was kind enough to clip some branches full of the sweet cherries for us as we finished up. We ended up with a fairly full grocery bag for about $10. No complaints here. They tasted incredible and served as breakfast and snacks for over a week!
pick your own blueberries
My boys are blueberry FIENDS. They absolutely love them so I figured they really deserve a spot in our pick your own fruit adventures. We kept pretty close to home and headed to MOSELEM MEADOWS for blueberry day.
My one on one time with my original tiny explorer has been pretty limited since giving birth to #2, so Brother stayed home with his daddy on this adventure and Mini and I went for a mommy-son day this time. We picked a little from each of the four types of blueberry bushes while Mini tried to convince me that giraffes eat blueberries and told me tales of his life as a tiger. (Toddler stories are the best.)
Unfortunately, the day we picked was an absolute scorcher, so our solo time was limited- but we enjoyed every minute of picking together! Our stash was sweet and fresh and lasted FOREVER at home in the fridge (as opposed to going bad in a few days like some packs from the store). It was a great day.
What fun! Our outings have inspired me with a desire to source more of our food locally and we live SO CLOSE to a few different farmer’s markets. Keep an eye out for future farmer’s market adventures and join our NEWSLETTER in the meantime to catch all the other outdoor fun we have.