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It’s about that time. That time when we get to take to the fields, harvest tons of sweet, delicious fruit, then try to figure out what to do with the 10 lbs of strawberries (or blueberries or peaches) we brought home 🙂
Yup. It’s officially PYO season in Connecticut. We’ve had some great PYO adventures here at Out and About Mom.
Who can forget the strawberry picking excursion where Mandy and I played zone defense with three toddlers while trying to load up our baskets with fruit at Rose’s Berry Farm’s Hebron Avenue Stand in Glastonbury, CT? (By the way, according to their Facebook page, PYO strawberries start TODAY at 9:00 a.m. at the Hebron Avenue location until they run out.)
Or the delicious peaches Boo and I picked at Belltown Hill Orchards (also in Glastonbury)?
Are you hoping to have your own PYO adventures this summer? Well, here are a few of our best picking tips:
- If available, be sure to check the farm or orchard’s Facebook page. This seems to be a great source of information about when and where crops are ready to be harvested. Both Rose’s Berry Farm and Belltown Hill Orchards have Facebook pages that they update every day during the busy picking season so you know exactly what is ready for picking and when (click here for Rose’s and here for Belltown).
- Rose’s Berry Farm also has a helpful harvest calendar with approximate dates for each season.
- Bring a small plastic bucket for your little one to collect berries in. It will be easier for them to carry the bucket than it will be for them to balance a cardboard tray or box, which is likely to be the picking container available at the PYO location.
- Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and sun hats for the kiddos as it can get really hot out in those fields.
- Dress for a mess. Berry picking can be a messy business if you’re letting little hands try to pick them (and maybe squish them). And you may find some stray (probably squashed) berries on the ground around the plants. And you KNOW the kiddos will find them too 🙂 We also would recommend long pants for picking crops like strawberries where the plants are low to the ground and the little ones will probably be climbing around them. For tree fruits like peaches and berries that grow on bushes like blueberries and raspberries, shorts should be just fine (like I said before, it can get hot out there!).
- Some PYO adventures require a short, tractor-pulled wagon or shuttle truck ride out to the location of the fruit. This may be the highlight of the trip for your little one 🙂 But if this is something that would be logistically difficult for you, make sure you check in with the PYO venue to see which crops might be accessed by foot rather than by the wagon. For example, last year at Belltown Hill Orchards we could walk to the peach trees, and at Rose’s Berry Farm (the main farm) we could walk to the blueberry bushes but NOT the raspberry bushes.
- Need ideas for what to do with your fruity loot? Check out Rose’s recipe pages, Belltown’s recipes, or our special peach-themed Pinterest page.
Where is your favorite PYO place?
Meet Our Sponsors!
- Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool – Visit their newly renovated center in Glastonbury. Now enrolling infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pre-k children for their fall programs.
- Kathryn Deane Photography – Kathryn is a natural light photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, child, family, and senior portrait photography.
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