KC Fun: Strawberry Picking at Gieringer Orchard

Monday, May 15, 2017

This place appears to not need any introduction, but let me introduce Gieringer Orchard to those of you who may not have heard of it! This orchard, located in Edgerton, KS, is one peaceful spot! Frank and Melanie Gieringer started Gieringer's orchard in the spring of 2001. They harvested their first crop of peaches in 2004. They have since added blackberries, strawberries, Hightunnel production of tomatoes, and sweet corn. Gieringers Orchard has an on farm market where they offer pre-picked and u-pick fruits in season. And we can't wait to get back there for all the produce listed above.

But about a week ago, we headed out there to do some strawberry picking on a fun Friday no school day! We took my mom with us. I love taking McKinley to do things like this and he seems to enjoy it. We've been apple picking over the past couple of years, so strawberry picking seemed the next logical step. I think it's important to teach McKinley that you don't just head to the store and buy produce. It's grown by local farmers, or by us in our own backyard, and we need to take care of the earth we live on. If we don't, we can't have these amazing fruits and vegetables. So we loaded up his wagon (unsure of what the space would be like), some lunch for the car, and we were off!

Once outside of the "city", the landscape was glorious! We missed our turn off, but that was okay. We ended up taking a gravel road for the last 10 minutes of our journey. What we found was farm land for miles, cow, steers, horses, oil pumps, a train depot, and more. McKinley, who had been interested in his YouTube train videos, stopped watching and began chatting about all the things around him. Thankful for his interest!! 

We found our way to the orchard and was in for a treat. Here's what you need to know. Parking is in their main field. Take as little as possible with you. You will need your money (cash and card), as you pay out in the orchard, and a phone to take photos if you want to document your day. They take you out via a "hayride" as McKinley calls it and drop you off right at the strawberry patch. You will get a picking container, 50 cents per container, and from there you start picking. Pick the ones that are ripe and leave the yellowish green ones to continue to grow! And eat while there. Not tons, but one or two to get a taste of what you're taking home. (Did you see what I did there? A little Monday humor!) And when you've loaded up your container, take it to the weigh station. Also, check out their food truck! You will definitely want to try their strawberry donuts, made fresh on the orchard, and their strawberry lemonade slushies. We were able to enjoy the donuts, but their slushies were about 10 minutes out and we needed to get going. Oh, did I mention that because Shawnee Mission was out that day, EVERYONE came to pick strawberries? Those poor folks didn't know what hit them that day!! But they took it all in stride. And so did the patrons.

In addition to the fun picking, donut eating, and slushy drinking, kids can also play on all of the fun playground equipment! This is the tractor on the property, but they also have hay bales, a cute trampoline for the little ones, another wooden climbing piece, and a huge combine playground at the beginning of the orchard. Love how family friendly this orchard is!

We can't wait for peach, blackberry, and blueberry picking later this summer! Such a magical place right here in the city!

Have you been to Gieringer Orchard? If so, what was your favorite part? Plan to go if you haven't? Let us know what you think! Gotta love a little something special in the KC Fun arena!


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