1. Their nutrient content is higher because they ripen on the plant
2. They reduce your carbon footprint by not having been shipped cross-country
3. They build the local economy (and local public school system) by keeping money in-state, and keep local farmers in business.
What better way to learn this than to put the kids to work picking their own locally grown food? Georgia berries are coming in to season, starting with strawberries this month, and next blueberries in June.
If you’re not growing them at home, a great online resource is PickYourOwn.org, where you can see exactly what a farm is growing by county, as well as find picking/canning/storing tips. Farms listed in GREEN use natural or organic growing methods (so kids don’t have to pick in pesticide-sprayed fields). Always call ahead, because weather conditions affect crops and farm open hours. Most provide collection buckets, but check to make sure you don’t need to bring your own containers.
Two farms you’ll find at PickYourOwn.org that use natural growing practices are:
Lone Oak Farm, 7633 Forrest Road, Grantville, GA (about 1 hour South of Dunwoody) – strawberries, Vidalia onions (7 for $5), blueberries
DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm, 1839 Prospect Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 (about 30 minutes Northeast of Dunwoody) – blueberries ($10 a gallon), cows/goats for the kids to feed, vegetables from their garden