Friday, September 23, 2011

Piper Piper Picks a Peck of Apples?

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."
-- Carl Sagan
The Consumerist notes that U-Pick Farms and Orchards are not always the best deal. As one reader writes,
my boyfriend and I went to [an Orchard], intending to do some apple picking. The website enticed us, and we dreamed of homemade apple pies. Only, when we got there, a greeter cheerily explained that there was an admittance fee to the orchards (a steep one, at that, $13.50 per person!) and a charge for apples picked (about $7 a small bag) Being the mathletes that we are, we figured we'd spend almost $40 between getting in and paying for our pickings.
So we didn't go in.
Years ago my wife & I decided to make apple cider using a cider press at a nearby nature center. We stopped at an orchard and saw that the price for a half a peck in the orchard store was better than if we picked it ourselves. So we bought instead of self-picking, then pressed the apples. We got a few cups of juice and figured it was the most expensive cider we ever drank. For some odd reason my wife still wants us to buy a cider press so we can do it again.

Beware of bait and switch, in the same Consumerist story, our math-smart couple called around and found a place with free admittance that said the cost for a peck was $9. When they arrived they learned that $9 was the store price but the orchard wanted $15 for a U-Pick peck-sized bag.

Bottom Line

What ever happened to the good ole days when you got a bargain buying direct from farmers and farm stands? We find now that farm markets prices match or exceed super-market prices.

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