You would have thought I was inflicting permanent damage and was going to scar my children for life on Wednesday. We loaded into the car and drove a lengthly half an hour west towards a blueberry farm to pick berries for the store. When we arrived, two of them literally fell out of the car onto the grass complaining of car sickness and whatever else was bothering them when I stopped listening. "Hello Mr. Farmer. These are my darling children who are super excited to pick blueberries today. Thank you for having us." Good golly.
We started picking, still complaining about the heat and the bugs and having to do actual work. Then everyone settled in with their own bucket and their own bush (because we'd hate to share) and actually started to enjoy themselves. In fact, I had to drag them out of the patch before they were done picking. By the time we got home, they were mighty heroes proud of their accomplishment of the day.
This particular patch encouraged the kids to eat while they were picking. You pick and pay by the pound so we should have weighted the kids before they went in to get an accurate value of berries leaving the farm. Because of this, a funny thing happened in the middle of the patch. As my 9 year old was shoving berries into his mouth, he said, "Mom, why don't the berries we get at the store taste this good?" munch, munch, munch... And that was when his lightbulb went off. After working at the store for a year, this little person finally understood why were working so hard and meeting all these people and creating something unique. It tastes better! It's fresh! There's no gook in it! And you can tell! Mind blown!
Buying local gives you the best produce. Nothing has to ripen as it travels, it doesn't get tossed around for hours in a truck, and an actual human picks and packages everything. Take time out of your day to seek out local produce while it's in season. Even an 9 year old can tell you why!