What says autumn more than pumpkins? Their round, orange brightness instills thoughts of harvest moons, delicious pie filled with warm spice, the aroma of melon on Halloween night as the gourd becomes a glowing face, and that old classic scene of Linus awaiting his special reward every year. (Poor Linus.)
Heading out to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect future Jack O’ Lantern, is one of those special traditions that kids of all ages look forward to. When heading out to a local farm to pick out your family’s pumpkins here are some helpful tips:
- Don’t pick your pumpkins too early in the season. If you pick them too soon they will be piles of mush long before you can take a knife to them or they will just be too soft to carve.
- Try to head to the pumpkin patch during “non-peak” times like mid-afternoon during the week to avoid crowds if you can.
- Don’t always go for the perfectly round. Sometimes the flawed, lopsided or puckered pumpkins make for carved faces with the most character.
- Don’t get carried away by picking out the biggest or the most pumpkins you can carry unless you think you can handle carving all of them, or want to use them to cook. Little ones can tire quickly of cleaning pumpkin guts and some of the fun of carving your pumpkins will be lost.
- Have fun. Put on your boots and old jeans. Let the kids get dirty as they wander the muddy fields finding that “perfect” one. Bring a bag to carry pumpkins and to protect the trunk of your car. Don’t forget your camera either!
Many communities in Metro Vancouver have patches to pick the perfect pumpkins from. Add a corn maze, a hayride or farm animals, and you have a great outing for the whole family. Here are few locations to get you started:
Rondriso Farms Pumpkin Patch
8390 172nd Street, Surrey
Features: Purchase from the yard, or take a haywagon ride down to the field. 10:00am to 6:00pm on weekends, holidays and professional days, and 3:00pm to 6:00pm on weekdays throughout October.
Bose Farm Pumpkin Patch
64th and 156th street, Surrey
Features: Across the street from the corn maze. Open Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of October, 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Cash only. From mini gourds to giant pumpkins.
Richmond Country Farms
12900 Steveston Highway, Surrey
Features: Open daily, check website for opening dates. Hay wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, professional entertainment, pumpkin picking music, animal farm, and admission includes a child sized pumpkin and a Spartan apple.
Krause Berry Farm
6179 248 St, Langley
Features: Open Wednesday to Sunday. There’s a market with freshly baked pies, jams and homemade fudge and, while you’re visiting the farm, you can pop into the Estate Winery.
8301 252 St, Langley
Features: Open daily mid September through October. Visit the petting zoo, take a tractor-pulled hayride to the pumpkin patch to choose from over 15 different pumpkin varieties.