Fall Family Apple Picking Do’s and Don’ts
Apple Picking Family Fun –
Apple picking is one of the most traditional family activities in the fall, and many people flock to apple orchards and pumpkin patches to enjoy pick-your-own (PYO) fruits and veggies or visit farm stands. With the list of things to do at most farms, including hay rides, pumpkin picking, scarecrow stuffing, and others, the PYO or farm visit can turn into a whole day of family fun. But when deciding where to go on your fall adventure, it is worth a few minutes to do some investigating of the practices of the farm you choose.
Pesticides: Commercial farms often use pesticides and other chemicals in order to control pests , fungus, and other crop-destroying afflictions. While most use these in strict accordance with the regulations governing their use, some people have strong feelings about how their food is grown. If your family is sensitive to organic food production, check out the orchard website before you go to see if there is information on which chemicals are used in that farm. If there is no information there, look for growers that have “certified organic’ next to their business name. This certification should be from a recognized local organic group that has specific requirements for labeling.
Locally grown: If you choose to visit a farm stand ask the vendor if their produce is grown on site. While smaller farm stands generally sell produce they grow themselves, some large farm stands purchase quantities of produce from wholesale suppliers for resale. This process limits the amount of knowledge the vendor has about the specific product and how it was grown. Before purchasing, it is perfectly fine to ask where the produce originated from and how it was grown. Good vendors who grow their own crops or work only with other local producers will be able to answer your questions.
Supporting local farms: Unless a farm is on a main road or advertises heavily they can be difficult to find. Many people want to go to small, family-run farms, but don’t know where to look. If you are seeking information about local orchards and farm stands, contact your local agricultural extension service, chamber of commerce, or land trust organization. Most of these groups have connections to smaller farms in the community and may be able to point you in the direction of a smaller farm for your family adventures.
The fall is still a great time to visit your local orchard, farm, or veggie stand, but it is still important that you do your homework before you go to make sure your food remains Positively Green!
Check out this homemade applesauce recipe!
By Jennifer Cummings, Positively Green
"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
Her publications: Tips from the Teacher provides useful hints and "tricks of the trade" that you can use at home to boost your child's academic progress year after year. And Homelinks Teacher Tools for Communicating with Parents New Skills Strategies, Newsletters and Home Communication Tools for Teachers(grades 2-8)
More Child Education Resources:
US Dept. of Education
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