This has been a summer of fruit.
We picked blueberries and sweet cherries at Shaw Orchards, more blueberries at Hybridoma Organic Fruit Farm, and just today, peaches and nectarines at Baugher's Orchards.
Granted, picking fruit isn't especially Nature Army, but in the process you are supporting local and (in the case of Hybridoma) organic farms, spending time outside, and eating in season. All things we in the Nature Army approve of.
At Baugher's it costs one dollar per person to take a wagon ride to the orchard, where a field helper explains how to pick fruit without damaging the tree and how to tell if it is ripe. In the case of peaches and nectarines, it should be yellow and red.
We were encouraged to sample the fruit to choose our favorite varieties. I was particularly fond of "Red and Gold" nectarines.
After picking a bushel of peaches and nectarines (which we did in no time flat), we bore our fruit triumphantly back on the wagon ride to the market, where we purchased a bushel of tomatoes and a few Asian pears. The market also has pies, vegetables, canning supplies, jellies, candy, ice cream...
Produce in the trunk, we walked to the petting zoo. I didn't quite approve of the small space in which some of the animals were kept, but they had more room than is legally required and were adorable.
I found this rooster very dignified and serene...
...though this goat was the more distinguished of the two.
So, we have twenty-one jars of tomatoes, 7 pints of salsa, and oodles of frozen peaches. Next up: pickles!