I remember fingertips stained strawberry red, hay bits stuck on kneecaps from kneeling on strawberry beds, small brown shoulders hot with summer while I balanced a half-empty crate, cramming my mouth with perfectly ripe berries. I remember the orchard every autumn: watching my dad pick the tree-top apples for my mom; inhaling the sharp cider-scent of rotting apples scattered beneath trees; casting sideways glances at the hornets hovering.
Do these romantic memories of picking fruit at a farm still have relevance to the modern grown-up budget? And do U-pick farms make any economic sense to those of us watching our grocery pennies? I took a trip out to the country to find out.