Strawberries don't last long in our house, so with strawberry season upon us, we decided to take the kids strawberry picking.  What better way to enjoy fresh, delicious berries!  Maybe we will even have enough extra to make some jam and special desserts. ;)

We were prepared to drive out to Markham, VA to one of our favorite u-pick farms (Hartland Orchard), but everyday as we drove into town, we passed a strawberry picking sign along the roadside. Every time, my husband would suggest we check it out.  I was not convinced by the "random" strawberry picking sign that had popped up so close to our home and was sticking to the plan to load up and head out to Markham.  Luckily, our schedule has been so busy, we never made it out to Markham.  ;)  I was determined to pick strawberries before the season was up, so I relented to trying the strawberry place by our house.  It was a wonderful experience!

It is not a random patch set up on the back part of a local resident's acreage like I imagined. :P  Hidden behind the houses along the road is a full size farm called Messick's Farm Market.  The farm is run by a family committed to the sustainability of their farm.  This has driven them to be creative and innovative.  They are transforming their family farm into a u-pick farm and farm market.  This season they have a number of delicious fruits and vegetables available to pick or buy pre-picked.  They share recipes and ideas, are friendly, and willing to answer your questions.  One of the farmers walked us out to the strawberry patch personally and shared information about the farm and the strawberries they've grown.

They grow their crops using organic principles and you can eat/allow your kids to eat straight from the field without worry.  They have a vision to build and develop their farm so they have fresh produce and healthy local foods available throughout the year.  Already they have a number of crops growing that I am marking on my calendar so I don't miss taking the family over to pick our own.  Their farm market building is under construction and promises to be a wonderful place to stop in and buy local produce and foods.  Who could ask for more- friendly people committed to growing organically, running a farm right by my house (literally a 2 minute drive)!

If you live in the area, I encourage you to check out Messick's Farm Market!  You can also like them on Facebook so you can keep up with what's new.


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