#999 Visit A Pick Your Own Farm

23 Oct

O.k., so you want it to be easy to find the perfect fruit with out fighting the insects and thorns when foraging. Pick your own farms are the next best thing to foraging. Like foraging, it’s a nice weekend activity that costs less than going to the movies and saves you money off the retail price of produce. One of  my favorite memories as a kid was going to a pick your own apple farm and picking apples. The farm also had a cider press where you could watch cider being made and drink it fresh…I think they served fresh apple cider in heaven. Now that I’m all grown up, I still love a good pick your own farm deal.

Spring through fall there are farms open offering pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pumpkins… you name it. I use this website to find out what’s selling. Of course local farms are affected by weather and a bad year, so call ahead to find out any updated information on the harvest before heading out to pick your own. Strawberries were rained out this year, so we had to wait until the fall for apples.

As you are usually paying per pound for produce at a pick your own farm – you can pick as much or as little as you want. We paid $0.45 cents per pound for apples, well below the price I saw when I strolled into the grocery store and saw the same Macintosh and Cortland apples for $0.89 per pound on special, normally $1.49 per pound. My small family ended up with 47 pounds of apples after visiting a pick your own orchard. I’m sure the people weighing it up were thinking, “What are they going to do with 47 pounds of apples?” This is where being thrifty really kicks in – the best way to be thrifty is to put in the time to use your bargain buy effectively. In the case of getting a ton of pick your own apples, it means making applesauce for the baby, freezing slices to use throughout the year and using some immediately for apple pie, apple crumble, apple pancakes …or canning apple butter, apple chutney… I could go on like the shrimp guy in Forrest Gump.

After two large batches of applesauce, several lunches of German apple pancake (a large popover-like pancake with apple filling), many apple crumble desserts (faster than pie), I still have a cold storage drawer in the fridge full of apples that will keep for a long time as long as they are cold.

It’s important to spend the time to put up the harvest for the winter so to say. What you trade off in cost-saving usually means you pay with a little of your own time – a common thrifty theme. And things like canning really aren’t difficult or super-time consuming, but afterward the cupboard is full. I’ll get into canning and preserving in the next post…but for now, before the season is over, go out and pick your own!

Here’s my quick apple crumble recipe, which is made quicker with a peel and slice device for apples.

2 Responses to “#999 Visit A Pick Your Own Farm”

  1. Alyson October 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    47 pounds!? I love to buy in bulk and make a bunch of meals to freeze, but I would be hard pressed to figure out how to use up 47 pounds of apples. I’m impressed! Thanks for sharing!

    • 1000thriftythings November 7, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      It goes quick when you make applesauce, but I still have some in cold storage…

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