U-Pick operations and roadside farm stalls provide consumers with access to fresh produce direct from the farmer. Through a U-Pick system the price the farmer receives is less than they receive from a roadside stall because the consumers are supplying the harvesting labour.

U-Pick and roadside stalls allow the consumer to come in direct contact with farmers, and experience an aspect of the food system they would otherwise miss, and they increase their intake of fresh produce.

One of the greatest appeals of U-Pick farms is they allow people to enjoy the rustic simplicity of picking their own fruit and vegetables from the bush, vine or plant. Under this system consumers enjoy the harvest activity without having to dig, plant, and tend their own gardens.

Farmers are taking advantage of their unique, nostalgic, rural and outdoor appeal by not only providing U-Pick opportunities but in some cases organising entertainment attractions as additional sources of income. These are sometimes being referred to as ‘agri-tainment’ or agri-tourism, and include petting farm animals, hay rides, children’s play areas and children’s discovery farms, and school field trips.

From the farmer’s perspective, there are advantages and potential issues to be considered with U-Pick-It systems.


  • no harvest costs
  • no transportation costs
  • no intermediary
  • crop/product mix is not critical

Potential Issues:

  • location is critical
  • legal liabilities
  • intrusion on family life
  • parking and staffing
  • limited growth potential and product value.

Roadside stalls have some advantages over U-Pick-It systems but still have some potential issues.


  • no intermediary
  • consumers are not on the farm
  • can re-sell products not sold
  • long potential season
  • usually limited transportation and packaging.

Potential Issues:

  • location is critical
  • appearance, upkeep of the stall
  • advertising
  • crop/product mix
  • staffing & long business hours
  • parking and traffic.