Use Pick Your Own Farms to Build Your Food Storage

Pick your own farms can give you a chance to stockpile your food storage pantry with fruits and vegetables for a year. Find out how

Pick your own farms can give you a chance to stockpile your food storage pantry with fruits and vegetables for a year. 

We do not have a garden large enough to sustain our family for a year. We’re working towards that goal, but we’re not there, yet. We also cannot always rely on the grocery stores to be able to stock food year round, fresh from local farms, at prices and flavors that we like. So one of our alternatives is to use a Pick Your Own farm to gather fruits and vegetables you cannot grow on your own or purchase in a sufficient quantity (or at a price you are willing to pay) to increase your own food storage. Not only is it a great reference for where to pick, but they have tons of information on what to do with it AFTER you pick! You can find farms that specialize in one type of crop or that have a wide variety for you to choose from. In many of them, you can purchase pre-picked fruit or vegetables without doing any of the work yourself, and still get fresher produce that what you can buy at the market. We went one VERY hot, Texas day a couple of years ago to pick blueberries at a farm that specializes in blueberries and blackberries. Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage! We went the day after they’d had a big family festival, so the pickings were slim on a lot of the acreage as it had been picked over in a huge way (note that when you’re scheduling your picking day.) So it took us much longer to fill our 5 gallon buckets than it typically might have taken. We were there for about 4 hours and came away with 5 gallons of blueberries per family. I’ll be honest that it didn’t help that we did sample a bit of what we were picking, too, which is also why it took a little longer ;)

What Happened Next

Once we had our buckets filled, we were able to go to their services to have the blueberries cleaned and packaged. Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage! Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage! Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage! Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage!   Then we came home. Tired, sweaty, dirty, full of blueberry goodness in our bellies, and loaded with more to bring home to make things like Blueberry Soda!

Call Ahead to your local pick your own farm

  • To see if there are designated times or if there are large parties already slated to be there the day you want to attend.
  • To make sure that your farm is actually available for picking. The year after this photo, our area was struck by some really severe spring storms, and the hail damage killed most of the bushes on the farm. They’ve had to rebuild and still aren’t ready for public picking. They do still pick and have blueberries available for pick up only.
  • To see if there is an entry fee and what the final fee will be. Our particular farm charged a flat by the bucket rate and also had pre-packaged berries available to purchase.
  • To find out if the farm uses organic practices or is organic if that is important to you and your family’s health.

READ MORE: Make Blueberry Soda

What to Expect & Bring to a Pick Your Own Farm

  • Be prepared for a few hours in the sun. For us, that meant wearing long sleeves, hats, sunscreen and lots and lots of water. It took us longer to pick than we had originally planned not only because the berries had been picked through, but because we grew tired pretty quickly and had to take lots of breaks for the little ones. (Read more on dressing for the weather here)
  • Be prepared for bugs. You’re going to be out in nature, not at the local green grocer, so expect to find some nature. We even had a small garden snake surprise us at one point, plus got to watch a tarantula cross the road on our entrance. And yes, being the awesome homeschooling/enrichment mom, we all got out and watched — from quite a few steps away. I suppressed my girlie-girl squeal-at-a-spider impulses so I wouldn’t embarrass my kids in front of the other families, but inside, I was screaming like a little girl.
  • Have a cooler ready for the ride home. Put some water bottles in there for a refreshing treat at the end of your pick time, and have a place to store your new pickings if you have a long way to drive home.

READ MORE: No Blueberries? No problem!! Use Blueberry Powder!

Do you use pick your own farms for produce? What have your experiences been like?

Pick your own farms can give you a chance to stockpile your food storage pantry with fruits and vegetables for a year. Find out how

Even if you don't have a fully stocked garden producing all of your food needs for the year, you can take advantage of Pick Your Own Farms to bring fresh produce into your house to preserve and build your food storage!

Website | + posts

Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.

She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.

Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).

Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.

Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.

Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.

She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.

Leave a Comment