Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local food, farmers markets and farms.
When berry season is in full swing, pick-your-own patches are filled with local food enthusiasts who prefer to have the freshest berries as ingredients in their jams and jellies. Strawberries are the first crop for most who pick their own, followed in short time by blueberry and blackberry crops. Sometimes a trip south of the Triangle, to the sandhills, calls out to local food fans during peak peach season. An early fall trip to the mountains during apple season makes another perfect excuse for a road trip. At the end of pick your own season are the orange-dotted pumpkin patches of October and evergreen trees of late November that decorate our holidays.
My favorite berry patch can be found on the far eastern edge of the Triangle, where the blueberry picking is so easy and the blackberries are large and juicy. I think of it as berry heaven. There are pick your own patches within the Triangle, as well as in neighboring counties. You can find a pick-your-own patch, or field, or orchard for most any local produce using the North Carolina Farm Fresh Farms and Roadside Stand search feature. Just select the product you desire and the region or county and place a check in the “Pick Your Own” box.
Pick your own season is nigh – start thinking now about the produce you want to preserve this summer and plan your trip to your own perfect produce patch.