By: Lisa Bicking, Marketing Assistant - Event Coordinator
During the summer, my family’s weekends are filled with days at the pool, beach and amusement parks. I’m a mom on the go and like to have our calendar booked for weeks out. I live for taking my children and husband (ages 5, 2, and 35) on adventures and thankfully I was blessed with a traveling family who enjoys and embraces all of mom’s plans. From day trips to the Baltimore Zoo, to seeing the monuments of Washington DC, to berry picking at a local farm, we do it all.
Being one that seeks out adventure and fun, it’s no surprise that my children are always asking me “what’s next?” The other day at dinner, my 5 year old daughter, Anna, asked me, “Mommy, when are we going to pick apples?” My reply was that it’s a fall activity and we do that after your birthday (in September). As with all children, her follow-up question was, “How long until fall?” While we still have many more weeks of summer fun left, I humored her request and talked about our favorite farm visits from last fall, and how we are planning on visiting them all again.
Don’t get me wrong - summer is my absolute favorite season. Packing the kids up and hitting the beach for a weekend, swimming for hours and catching lightening bugs well past bed time are some of my favorite summer activities. Tucking a kid into bed with the hint of sunscreen and dirt still on their feet is the true sign that you had a great summer day. But there is something to be said about the fun that fall brings –pumpkin picking, hay rides, and apple cider donuts are just some of things we look forward to each fall.
With back to school preparation in full swing, it’s only a matter of weeks until fall is upon us once again! And part of my back to school prep is thinking ahead to what local farms we’ll visit this year, which got me reminiscing about one of our family’s favorite places – Larriland Farm.
Larriland Farm is a family operated farm in Howard County, Maryland. We stumbled upon this farm last year, as it is just down the street from where my aunt lives. We drove past my aunt’s house, in an attempt to keep our napping 2 year old son, Patrick, asleep. Driving past the farm, I could see the acres upon acres that were covered in signs about pick your own harvest, as well as various fall activities ready to go. I did a quick search and realized this was a must hit for our family and of course scheduled a time on our calendar to head back. A few things to know about Larriland:
- The growing season begins with strawberries in May – early June, and ends with the apple harvest in early November.
- They offer various fruits and vegetables to purchase in their market or “pick your own”:
- Spinach, chard, kale, lettuce
- Beets, tomatoes, squash, cantaloupes, corn, snap beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers
- Pumpkins, broccoli
- Strawberries, cherries, red/black raspberries
- Blueberries, peaches, grapes, pears and apples
- Autumn activities include:
- Harvest picking, specifically pumpkins and apples
- Boo Barn (a very child friendly haunted house)
- Hay maze
- You get a lot of bang for your buck. There is no admission fee to enter the farm or picking fields. The pick-your-own is a “pick and pay” format, ensuring you only pay for what you pick. There are many other activities to choose from, all of which are pay as you go.
- The environment could not be nicer. The grounds are beautiful, with ample parking and breathtaking views that make for great photo backgrounds. Playgrounds and open fields made this a perfect place for families to enjoy. One of the best features is that you can bring your own food onto the farm. They do offer food trucks and other food vendors, but you are not required to utilize them.
- The quality of their product is second to none. Acres upon acres, rows upon rows filled with more apples than you could imagine. Each row had a description of the type of apple and their predicted taste. For a family that gears towards the sweet, juicer apples it was easy to navigate to find the right ones for our family.
As consumers, we have many options as to where to go on the weekends. You have to think about what works best for you as a family – is cost important, or is it a child friendly atmosphere where you can bring your own food? These are all factors that I consider for all of our family adventures. I am so happy that we took that detour on our way to my aunt’s house, otherwise we may not have found Larriland Farm! After one visit, we were hooked. My calendar is already booking up for the fall, but you better believe Larriland Farm is a must stop for my family. See you there this fall!