A few weeks ago we went raspberry picking. This was a new activity to all of us but something we’ve wanted to do for years. We’ve picked strawberries before, and we have our own garden so we are no strangers to fresh from the plant goodness, but this was a new experience.
We went to a local farm here in Colorado called Berry Patch Farms and spent the morning soaking in fresh air, sunlight, and feel-good farm vibes. Picking your own fruit is a fun activity and it’s really easy for kids to get involved. Typically you either pick the fruit directly off the vine/bush while at ground level or in the case of apples, pears, plums, cherries, etc you stand on a ladder. So while the ladder thing might not be suitable for the younger set, the ground level stuff is perfect.
A typical berry picking situation goes like this:
- You arrive at the berry picking location and receive directions and a container to put your fruit in
- You either walk or ride (sometimes via wagon) to the picking location
- You pick the fruit, trying your best not to eat much
- You pay for the fruit
I wouldn’t say you save much money over buying storebought, so it’s not like it’s some money saving technique, but it is a great activity to get some quality family time in.
See below for some pictures of our adventure:
One of the main ways you know it’s fall in Colorado is by all of the people roasting fresh Hatch chili peppers. This gentleman was creating such a wonderful scent in the air.
I love seeing all the character farms have. Old antiques, peeling paint, animals, you name it – it’s like the complete opposite of our life in the ‘burbs.
The actual act of picking raspberries was pretty easy for both my kids. Oliver, my 3 year old, needed a bit of guidance at first, but once he got the hang of it did a pretty decent job filling his container. I was pretty surprised that neither kid tried to sneak any eating in (considering that’s their absolute favorite pastime).
Such pride for having a full bucket!
This particular farm also had a pick your own flower section and I was definitely all over that. Nathan (my 6 yr old) helped me find flowers to cut and I would hold the stem as he snipped away. It was a good activity for him since he felt super important using the “big-boy” scissors. Probably not the best activity for a younger kid, but that was ok in this situation since my younger kid was off camera having a complete meltdown. 🙂
The finished bouquet:
All in all this activity took us a little over an hour and a half. Both kids filled their containers and we picked the flower bouquet in that time. So definitely not an all day, nor even an all-morning activity, but a fun way to spend some quality time with each other and then have time to still run some errands, go to the park, or go back home to get some stuff done.
Oh, and what did we do with the raspberries? We ate some of them and then I made up a quick batch of raspberry jam with the rest. Raspberries are some of the easiest things to make jam out of since they don’t have a ton of juice. So they don’t need pectin to make a jam-like consistency, are plenty sweet, and they cook up rather quickly. I just put them in a saucepan over low heat, smashed them with a potato masher until a pulp, and then cooked for about 30 min, stirring occasionally. We stored it in the fridge and then added it to some homemade chia pudding one day, coconut milk yogurt the next, and then spread it on some muffins (grain-free for us).