This is fruit picking season in the Mid Atlantic states and there are many opportunities to harvest your own if you are willing to stand in the hot sun and pick it yourself. The fruit is sun-ripened and the taste of it is incomparable to what is found in the store. However, to make your fruit picking experience enjoyable for everyone concerned there are a few rules of etiquette to follow out in the sun-baked fields.
- First, listen to the owners directions. There is a pattern that they wish you to follow so that everyone has an equal opportunity to pick ripe delicious fruit. Don’t go headlong willy-nilly through the bushes looking for the biggest fruit and refusing to pick all the ripe fruit on the plant, bush or tree.
- Secondly, don’t bring small children who cannot follow directions. They eat their weight in fruit and trample the plants, especially strawberries.
- Thirdly, bring your own buckets with sturdy handles for picking and a large pan to receive the picked fruit from a full bucket. Then you can go back to picking with an empty bucket.
- And finally, Keep in mind the price of the fruit per pound and decide ahead of time how much you want to pick. I’ve seen lots of people act like a kid in a candy store and pick way more fruit than they planned. Only to get to the checkout with not enough cash. There are no credit card machines out in the fields.
Remember, you are a privileged guest on the owners land and this is how they make their living. Observe proper etiquette treating the fruit orchards as if they were your own and the farmers will continue to invite all of us back to pick our own fruit next year.