Pick Your Own Farms Around Calgary

31 March 2015

Spring is finally here in Western Canada and pretty soon, the trees will be brimming with fresh berries. History shows that I left my green thumb in Neverland so I've graciously given up the dream of having a garden or at least a potted plant where my kids can pick fruits and vegetables. Not gonna happen in this era. My face-saving and still-fun alternative is to take them to a U-pick farm somewhere around Calgary. 

If there's something Calgary is not lacking, it's a plethora of farms nearby offering everything from CSAs, to Upicks to hosting birthday parties. Here is a listing of the farms that are within decent driving distance of Calgary and offer Upick. 

Things to do before heading out to the farm

  1. Visit their website and check for hours of operation, available dining options etc
  2. Call ahead and make an appointment (if required). Also confirm payment methods accepted and minimum age of kids. It's a good idea to check if they also have already picked fruits for sale. Why? Well there's always the possiblity your toddler wants NOTHING to do with plants and it'd be a shame to go home empty-handed. I say this because for the longest time, Sugar absolutely refused to walk on grass
  3. Ask about road conditions all the way to the farm. Parts of rural Alberta can be scary to navigate alone in a small car. Verify road conditions and presence of wildlife
  4. Ask about the use of pesticides if that's something you care about especially as a lot of berries are on the EWG's dirty dozen list
  5. Check the weather and dress appropriately - sunglasses and hats are usually not optional. 
  6. Pack for the trip: lunch, water, bug repellant, storage bags for your produce, first aid kit, anti-itch cream, benadryl etc.  Overload I know but still...
  7. Get directions and print along with a map. Some of those farms have addresses that won't show up on a GPS and cell coverage may be sketchy. Best to be sure of where you're going before you head out. 
First farm opens in June - that's 90 sleeps from now - and this year, I hope to be introduce my girls to the concept of food growing on trees.

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