One of our favorite family adventures is going a the local pick-your-owns or une cueillette in French.
The one we enjoy going to the most as a family is cueillette de Rutel in Villenoy which is near Meaux. It is a 45-minute drive from our apartment. Once you get off the expressway and start driving towards the cueillette the road is full of farmland and very beautiful. In less than 15 minutes from our apartment we can be in the middle of the French countryside!
The last time we went the road was suddenly blocked by a parade of professional bike riders. I told the kids they were probably prearing for the Tour de France.
At the cuiellette
At the cueillette (pick your own), they only sell what is in season. There is a huge sign next to the entrance that says what’s available, the price per kilo and what’s coming up. Next you grab a bruette (or wheel barrow), a few bags, a plastic container for strawberries or raspberries and off to the fields you go…
Learning at the cueillette
Going to the cueillette once or twice a month becomes an outdoor learning experience for the kids and us as well. We were able to point out what was almost read, how the land was being farmed and irrigated. The Turk grew up growing his own food in Eastern Turkey. So if there is a question about gardening and farming, he is the one to ask.
When we got to the strawberry field, we showed the kids how to harvest them. We had to taste a few just too make sure they tasted good. We filled our plastic container as much as we could. I assured my husband that yes despite the price being six euros a kilo that it was still a good deal. Because the Spanish strawberries we find at the open air market have no taste and they are probably grown in a greenhouse never seeing the sun. Therefore it is ok to pay a little extra plus once you by three or more killos the price starts going down.
Are there pick your owns in your area ? Share where you are from.