It is strawberry season in the Pacific Northwest and time to go to the u-pick berry farm! When I told our three year old daughter it was strawberry picking time, she hastily ran to find the bucket we used last year. She was ready to go! Skylar remembered how much fun she had picking, and taste testing, berries in the field in the sunshine at the u-pick berry farm last year.
Educate and Appreciate
Taking children to real farms helps them understand the origins of our food. They have the opportunity to first hand grasp the interconnection between nature, our food, and our impact on the planet. Kids will be healthier, happier and smarter having time outdoors.
And for many children, farm adventures like this gets them off their personal digital assistants (PDA’s), smartphones etc and into real life. There is just way too much research out there now about the damages incurred socially, physically and mentally from overexpose and excessive PDA use.
Our U-pick berry farm adventure
It was a sweet sight seeing our daughter forage through the clover and buttercups to find strawberries hiding safely underneath. Some plants were as tall as her at three feet tall. The field looked very over grown with everything but strawberries.
However, the strawberries were there, in all their glory and juiciness. Plus most of them were huge. This u-pick berry farm had definitely flourished since last year. And the bees were happily buzzing about the clover.
Organic vs Conventional
It is important to make the decision about which kind of u-pick berry farm you will take your children for their outdoor adventure. Organic farms will have more bugs and weeds since they don’t use pesticides and herbicides. However, you can taste test a few berries on the spot.
Conventional farms will most likely be sprayed with chemicals. It’s safer to pick your fruit and wait to eat it until after you’ve rinsed it well. You do however have the long term effects of conventional farming.
We live in the Pacific Northwest with ample farms of all kinds nearby. Doing an internet search for “u-pick farms near me” or “u-pick berries near me” will help you find your closest options.
In addition, taking your children to a u-pick berry farm not only gives the kids an outdoor adventure, but also supports local farmers.
Bolles Organic Berry Farm
We ventured to the Bolles Organic Berry Farm. Judy and Kelly have owned the farm for almost twenty years. Last year was their first yield from a new strawberry crop. The berries were little, but tasty. This year however, since the strawberry plants have matured, many of the berries are enormous and extremely sweet and juicy.
It’s always good to call ahead or get on a mailing list to stay informed with local farm’s harvests. As with most farms, the Bolles’ farm has a variety of produce to offer, but availability changes annually upon harvest and weather conditions.
The Bolles just announced their u-pick strawberry open season for picking as of June 4th. They said it usually takes a few weeks of visitors harvesting before the crop is cleared. Don’t delay! Go to the Bolles Organic Berry Farm at 17930 Tualco Loop Rd Monroe, WA and pick yours ASAP! Hours are usually 9am-6pm.
This year’s rate is $3 per pound. This is almost half the cost of the organic berry flat I just bought at a grocery store. Plus my daughter and I got to enjoy a delightful afternoon in the sunshine in a field with the bees, clover, buttercups and strawberries. These memories will last a lifetime!
Whether sunshine or rain, it’s a blast to go berry picking, especially with your kids AND if you are well prepared.
U-Pick Berry Farm Supply Check List
- Portable Toilet
- Wet Wipes
- Rain Gear – if raining: hat, jacket, pants, rain boots
- Backpack for parents to carry supplies
Having a portable toilet, especially for the really little toddlers is a life saver. If you have a recently potty trained toddler or a little one that just cannot wait that long before going to the potty, you will want this portable travel potty! It’s awesome!
I saw a friend of mine use this potty on the sidelines of a playground with her two year old. The toddler was able to take care of her needs without delay. No need to find a restroom. You slip a bag over the travel potty in its chair position to catch all the goods. Or it can also be used as a toddler toilet seat over a regular restroom toilet. It packs up small, is light weight, and fits in a backpack.
I bought one immediately. My daughter has used her portable travel potty in the car, at restaurants, and now officially in an organic strawberry field at the u-pick berry farm. Talk about a nature moment! Too cute!
Sunscreen is a big issue since many sunscreens can be more harmful over time than absorbing the sun’s rays directly. We use sunscreen sparingly and go for alternatives like long sleeve clothing and sun hats depending on the situation. However, the Environmental Working Group puts out a review every year for the best and safest sunscreens for kids. I have not tried them all, but I do know some apply and work much differently than others.
Zinc is one of the best safe sunscreen ingredients and healing agents, but it can be difficult to rub evenly into the skin. I used the Badger Baby Chamomile & Calendula SPF 30 Sunscreen when our daughter was a baby. Now I use the Badger Kids Tangerine & Vanilla Sunscreen on us all. The Badger products rub in with a little effort. You may still have a bit of a white hue, but the products spread easily.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy a u-pick berry farm with your family. Looking for other fun adventures to do with kids in the Pacific Northwest? How about hiking Rattlesnake Ledge? Or perhaps take a Canadian camping adventure!