...because we all have our motley moments!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Financial Fun: Support local agriculture!

My son and I just had the most fun ten minutes we've had in a while, and it only cost us $5.50.

On a whim, I drove us down the road to a building I had seen but never visited, lured only by the gigantic "HONEY" sign on the front. Once I convinced him to get out of the car, we stepped into a little room no larger than a walk-in closet, and we were greeted by a wall of honey containers in several shapes and sizes. In the middle of the room was a large box with a hole in it that read, "Honor System, Since 1937." There were posters on the walls with pictures of bees and honey combs, and lots of information about how honey is made. I picked up a 12 oz. bear-shaped bottle of honey with a price sticker that read $4.00, but my son reached for a larger bear. I inspected the bottle--it was 24 oz. for $5.50. Sometimes my math is a little slow, but the value of the larger bottle was pretty obvious! We counted out dollar bills and coins, put them into the slot on the box, and drove home with my son cradling the bear in his car seat. We conversed the entire way home about the many things we could do with our Florida Orange Blossom honey. As soon as we opened the door to the kitchen, he ran to the refrigerator, pulled out some plain yogurt and started creating his lunch. Now he's waiting for Daddy to get home so he can share with him our new honey and the story of where we found it.

So, for $5.50 my son learned about the honey making process, learned to count money, found excitement in cooking, and will practice his story-telling skills a little later today. Also, that $5.50 went straight to a family that has owned the "HONEY" building for several decades and sets an example of trusting our fellow human beings. And we got a cute bear full of delicious honey as a parting gift. I think that is quite the value for my money!

Friday morning we will go to a local blueberry farm to pick blueberries for a final time this season, and we will make jam with those berries for Father's Day gifts. When we travel this summer, we will spend most of our adventure time finding local farms where we can visit animals and find delicious produce and other farm goods. All of this will be priced considerably lower than other forms of entertainment, and the benefits, well, are just too numerous to mention!

Your challenge for the day--seek out local agriculture, and pay your farmers a visit! If you need help, this website has a comprehensive list of U-Pick farms all over the country. You'll be saving yourself entertainment dollars and possibly grocery dollars, and you'll be helping the local economy. More than that, though, you'll be giving your little ones experiences they will treasure forever!

If you know of a local (to you!) farm that is great to visit, leave it in the comment section!


Rachel said...

Here are my favorite ag spots:

Thomas Farms, Winterhaven, FL. They have U-Pick produce throughout the growing season.

Brumfield's Produce Market, Madisonville, KY. Shawn Brumfield is a friend of mine from high school, and he sells his farm fare in a brand-new building off of Highway 41. He also sells at the local farmer's market, another fun place to take the kids.

Triple B Farms, near Pittsburgh, PA. We went to this farm last summer. They have small livestock, like goats, for the kids to pet and plenty of farm-inspired play areas (old tractors, etc.) They have a nice shop where you can buy produce and other fun farm-related goods.

Liz said...

Oh, I love the Honey House! I love the honey and the prices and the fact that they rely on the honor system. One place we like to go is called Mark's Melon Patch. It's on 280 going across south Georgia between Tifton and Albany. I love to get in-season pecans there.

Lindsay said...

That's really cool about the honey being on the honor system. We haven't paid for honey in the 10 years we've lived here because we get some free from Bok (more to that story...). We use it alot. Nick uses it on his cereal every morning, we use it on Peanut Butter sandwiches (instead of jelly) etc... We love honey. :)

We also get free oranges, and blueberries through people at Bok. And on occasion we have been given strawberries. The nice thing about having a husband who works in the horticulture field is the free produce we get from time to time. :)

Ola said...

Here in the Czech republic the farmers created a system of vending machines for fresh milk. You just bring your own bottle, put 50 cents in and you have a liter of fresh milk straight from the farm! The machines are located on several places all over the republic. We can also get honey from a local farmer at a store where my parents live and it's delicious. I love supporting local farmers and I'm glad this trend is spreading in America too.

Rachel said...

The melon patch sounds neat, Liz--we'll have to check that out on our way back down 75 this summer!

Lindsay, lucky you! I'm sure Bok Gardens offer lots of little perks!

Ola, the milk machine is such a neat idea! What a great way to make local agriculture more accessible to people! Thank you for sharing your insight and culture with us today!

Tara said...

I LOVE local honey and won't buy it if it's not local. I love scoping out local agriculture and other types of local culture. I might just have to make that my holiday weekend adventure. Great post! And, I loved the "honor system" part. Very insightful, and what a great opportunity to teach Isaac about morals and values that aren't often brought up in today's society.

Bryssy said...

It's so funny you chose this to post about, Rachel. We were just talking about heading over to the Sunflower Maze and U-Pick at Sweetfield Farms (http://sweetfieldsfarm.com/sweetfields.htm) this weekend. The sunflower maze is open in late April - May. It's definitely a day long adventure.

They are an organic farm that has u-pick and plants a sunflower maze in the spring (open April & May) and a corn maze in the fall. Right now they have green beans, cucumbers, squash, zucchini
and round zucchini in their u-pick fields and expect tomatoes and peppers to be ready next month. We like to do pack a lunch and go over and play in the maze (there are pictures on the website) and do some u-pick. I went for the first time last spring and again in the fall for the corn maze.

Of course, then I have to be ready to do some canning - which I love. So, we'll see how motivated I am feeling about a ton of u-pick. I wish there weren't still 2 weeks of school left! BOO!!!

Lindsay said...

A little off topic, but in the Children's Garden plans that Nick had drawn up there is a really cool turtle maze. A hilly spot, a splash park, science centers..... I am still so mad at the man who is not allowing him to go through with this even though the board LOVED it.