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A Pick-Your-Own Adventure

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It’s August, which means it’s time for the Jolly Tomato family to head back East and visit the grandparents in New Jersey farm country. We are lucky to be close to a great little organic farm that offers pick-your-own fruit and vegetables throughout most of the summer. Today’s crop included blackberries, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.

We think it’s great for kids to get a chance to see exactly how food grows – and to have the thrill of picking it themselves. If we had bought a pint of cherry tomatoes from the grocery store, for instance, our six-year-old probably wouldn’t have come home and demolished the whole basket.

And if we only bought produce at our local supermarket, we probably wouldn’t get to see the fruits or vegetables that grow into bizarre and curious shapes. (Thanks to Jolly Tomato’s dad for this picture of the “pyramid” eggplant we picked this morning). Another benefit to picking your own is that you can get green tomatoes – which we can’t usually find at supermarkets near us – for fried green tomatoes.

At home in L.A., we’re not exactly in the middle of farm country, but we’re not too far from some nice picking opportunities. We’ve loved taking watermelon tours at Tanaka Farms, for example, and giving the kids a chance to taste a variety of different watermelons. Not sure where to find a farm that offers pick-your-own opportunities? Visit www.pickyourown.org to find a farm near you.

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