Poor Linus. His loyalty to the Great Pumpkin knows no end! Sally thinks she was fooled, but I would suggest that Linus just didn’t find the most sincere pumpkin patch. How do I know? Because it truly exists, right in my back yard.
The family tradition of pumpkin picking actually began before we had kids. We bought our home as newlyweds and knew that our property abutted a farm. The first fall, we were thrilled to see a large pumpkin patch sprouted mere steps from our back door. Morning coffee on the patio with a view of fall foliage and these super-squash is one of life’s small treasures.
Our besties lived in our neighborhood, and we decided one fall Sunday back in 1998 to go to the Shenot Farm hayride up to the pumpkin patch before an afternoon of NFL and chili. What a delight to discover this unique treasure before we had kids.
Farmers markets and fall festivals are HUGE and ABUNDANT these days. Certainly popular with families, many markets have commercialized this opportunity. Perhaps it’s still the “Peanuts” in me, but like Charlie Brown and Linus, I prefer the rustic sincerity of Shenot. Frankly, I’m almost afraid to post this blog for fear my secret will get out, but I adore Shenot Farm so much that it’s only fair to share it. (They were JUST named the 2018 winner of the “Making Memories” award for seasonal entertainment on winnie.com as well)
The market has a great selection of their fruits and veggies. Local dairies supply their wares, and regional organic honeys line the shelves. And do NOT get me started on their fudge (I literally need an intervention for their fudge).
But in the fall, this gem just SHINES. As you approach, the quaint atmosphere invites you with a play barn for the littles, and a spooky skeleton welcomes from the side of a small barn. Abundant mums, cornstalks, and carts of pumpkins lure you into the coziness of the market.
The hayride ($2 per rider, ages 2+ and under 2 is free), starts to the side of the market and includes one of Shenot’s famous and delicious apples, and they now offer a walking trail for those who choose some exercise. The trails drop you in the pumpkin patch where the photo opps are endless. A rustic barn, cutout boards, and of course mother nature herself provide stunning backdrops for family photos (start thinking of your holiday cards people)! A corn maze is a fun stop for the kids (mom can’t help but conjure Stephen King and Malachi, so I typically pass on the maze). Families typically select a pumpkin or two from the field and ride back down with them.
While you’re there, make sure to stock up on apples and their fresh-pressed cider! I’ll be sharing my homemade apple sauce and spiked cider recipes soon. Stay tuned for the perfect menu for the post-hunt lunch with pumpkin carving, football, and roasted pumpkin seeds.
These holiday traditions are so important this year as Conman moves through his senior year. These special events with friends who have become family are great to celebrate, no matter how old your kiddos get.
A final footnote–WEAR BOOTS!!!!