U-Pick Fruit
by Dave

Couple picking apples for their date
Spending a few hours in nature, picking and snacking on sweet, delicious fruit is not a bad way to spend an afternoon together. It's ideal for a date because you'll be learning something new, working together to find the best fruits, and have plenty of time to talk along with something to talk about. There are a number of 'U-Pick' farms all over the country that allow people to drive out and pick their own fruits or vegetables. Generally, you'll either buy a container and fill it, or bring your own and pay by weight. You'll never be able to eat all of the peaches, strawberries, or whatever else you pick, which makes this is a great opportunity to show your generous side by gifting the extras to friends and family.

Geography has a lot to do with when fruits are in season, but U.S. residents can generally find the popular ones at the following times:

  • Strawberries: April-June (peak April-May in Florida & Texas, May in South, June in rest of country)
  • Blackberries: June-August (peak June in South, July in North)
  • Blueberries: June-August
  • Raspberries: July-October (first crop peaks June in South, July in North, second peaks late July South, late August North)
  • Cherries: June-August
  • Peaches: July-September (peak late June-July in South, July and August North)
  • Pears: August-October (peak August-September in South, September-October in North)

To find local U-pick farms, take a look at pickyourown.org in Links to see if they list any farms in your area. If not, do some searching for fruits of interest in your area. If fruit isn't your thing, try some of other locally-grown foods, like avocados for fresh guacamole.

Before driving out, always call for the following information:

  • If the farm will be open
  • Whether the fruit you want is available and ripe
  • The best time of day to pick
  • If you need to bring containers
  • The cost
  • Whether you can snack while you pick.
  • That there will be plenty of ripe fruit available in the field when you arrive (go early)

It's also a good idea to ask about proper picking technique so that you don't damage the plants.

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Comments

Tips

Since you're heading to the country anyway, why not bring a picnic along with something that complements your fruit? Maybe some cream for those berries or cinnamon with your apples?

Links

Find a U-pick farm

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