Monday, June 24, 2013

A new experience at Charlie's U-Pik

My wife and I make it a point to visit farmers' markets when on our vacation journeys.

Most all are entertaining and offer an enjoyable experience. 

In Europe it seems there are not only vegetables offered, but fish, beef, pork and other seafood for sale.

The market in Paris seemed to stretch for miles and also offered tires, mattresses and other items for one's home.

We've also experienced markets in Florence, Rome, San Francisco and New Orleans.

But we had a new "market" experience not far from home just last week. It was a farmer's market -- one farm with a lot of produce, where visitors had to pick their own.

It was Charlie's U-Pik outside of Lucedale, MS. There were rows and rows of just about every vegetable imaginable including tomatoes of all kinds, okra, peas of all kinds, cucumbers, yellow and zucchini squash and sunflowers. 

There were potatoes, eggplants, sweet onions and a variety of bell peppers and hot peppers. They also had watermelons, cantaloup and corn for sale.

When we arrived about 9 a.m., hundreds of people were already out in the fields. We thought it was going to be a hot day for picking but the sky turned cloudy and overcast. There was a breeze across the fields that make it more enjoyable.

Pickers pay a set price -- only $10 for each 5-gallon pail filled to the brim with any of the produce in the fields. Pickers had to bring their own pails.

We loaded up one pail with a combination of purple-hull peas, some okra and a few cucumbers and tomatoes.

Although, cost-wise, one wouldn't consider it a profitable trip -- there are intangibles -- a new experience, an adventurous daytrip and a memory that will live on.

Next post: July 2, 2013

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