While most of the crops will be picked for you, some of the more labor-intensive crops are Pick Your Own (PYO). These include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peas, string beans, cherry tomatoes, braising greens (after a certain point in the season), tomatillos and ground cherries. Flowers are also PYO.
There will always be instructions about how to pick and how much is in your share on chalkboards in the fields. Please looks for these boards before you begin picking. PYO in the field is by volume, in dry pints and quarts. When we post PYO quantities, we will tell you what the volume is (e.g., a quart of strawberries, a pint of blueberries).
You may do the pick-your-own portion of your pickup on your designated pick up day and/or on the following day (Wednesday for Tuesday sharers; Saturday for Friday sharers). This policy assures us that PYO crops will have adequate growth time and be available for both Tuesday and Friday sharers.
PYO can be done any time during hours that the farm is open (Tuesday & Friday 8-7; Wednesday & Saturday 8-5). Flowers and herbs, which are located outside the deer fence can be picked any time.
What to Bring
Please bring dry pint and dry quart containers to pick your own crops into. The quantities you can pick each week will be posted under the pickup tent and in the field and will be given in pints and quarts. Pint and quart containers from the supermarket are perfect for this purpose. A one pound container from strawberries is also good. Please do not bring the plastic packages that greens come in–they are not a quart size. Quart size yogurt containers are useful for picking crops like peas and beans, but aren’t ideal for tender crops like berries.
Take Only Your Share
Please pick into containers rather than into a bag. It can be very difficult to estimate a “pint” or “quart” in a plastic bag. The amount of PYO is carefully calculated by your farm staff so if you pick an extra pint, quart or ‘eat’ your share in the field and then bring (another) pint or quart home, this impacts everyone. Please honor this essential component of your CSA community and your commitment to sustainable agriculture.
Limits on PYO
Occasionally, you will be asked not to go into the fields because the crops are wet. Picking tomatoes, beans and strawberries when they are wet spreads diseases that are in the soil. They splash up onto leaves and are spread by our picking. It can be inconvenient to come back another day to pick a crop because it is wet, yet it is necessary to protect the health of our crops.
In case of severe weather, communication about PYO will come from the farm staff.
Children and PYO
Children love to pick their own food, and they are most welcome to accompany you in the fields. Please do not send your children to pick on their own unless they are at least 12 years old and have experience harvesting.