Some farmers consider U-Pick farms a big part of their business and a public service, but changes on the way with the Food Safety Modernization Act could make it hard for them to stay open.
Farming and allowing the public to pick fruit has been part of the High family business for over 30 years.
"The fun part is seeing the kids' smiling faces when they're out there picking their own strawberries and the old-timers remembering when they used to do it and still can," said Laird High, whose family owns Mountain High and Cabot Patch farms.
Seven days a week the High family opens for picking.
"I got to pick strawberries and the reddest ones were the best ones to get," said Kathryn McCrory, picking with friends and family.
The U-Pick operation is just one of many ways the family makes money.
"We have a few restaurants we deliver to, we have some roadside stands, we sell berries pre-picked," said High.
But it could be harder and more expensive to do soon, as the FDA prepares to roll out new rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
We caught up with Agricultural Economics Professor Ron Rainey at a gala. He explained the potential consequences of the sweeping reform package.
"This law will impact all producers. There is added record-keeping, added hurdles they have to do and added costs to their facilities," said Rainey.
Rainey says the government is working on ways to prevent foodborne illnesses and track incidents when they occur. For U-Pick farms that sell food to restaurants that would mean keeping track of every person who picks and every step they take.
"Some say that added record-keeping, I'm just going to eliminate that side of my business," added Rainey.
The Highs agree that food safety is important. Right now visitors pick on one side of a row of designated flags and farmers pick on the other side.
"I think you're really taking away from the public is what I say about that. I don't think it's right to make farmers choose of anyway to go," said High.
They just want to make sure they can pass the tradition on to the next generation.
"I like doing this better," said McCrory. "Cause you get to choose your own."
The rules are still being written, for now at Mountain High Produce, they're still open and welcoming pickers. They're located at 500 Mt. Carmel Rd. Their other farm, The Cabot Patch, is located at 1000 East Justice Rd.
For more information on the Food Safety Modernization Act, click here.