10.21.2013

October Pumpkin Patch Visit

The last time I visited a Pumpkin Patch was in my college days in 2001. I remember the day well. I was living in San Luis Obispo and T and my friend Betsy (we ended up being friends because we were both named Elizabeth!) and I went to the Avila Valley Barn. It was a Saturday in October. We were all photography majors, so we went looking for pumpkins and photos. The weather was crisp but warm. The afternoon light created a warm glow across the pumpkin patches. We took a hay ride through the farm and picked our pumpkins. It was a great day and I was happy to spend it with T and Betsy.

As a child I have memories of visiting a pumpkin patch. I grew up in Riverside, CA and the Riverside of my youth was very much geared toward agriculture. Our housing track was surrounded by orange groves, my parents had a spectacular garden, and a little place called Dois Farm is were we would get our pumpkins for Halloween. I even remember taking a field trip there in Elementary School.

Each of these places were farms. A place where I would walk through a true pumpkin patch looking for a pumpkin. There would be rows and rows of pumpkins on their vines and the search and the day would become a happy fall memory. When I moved from San Luis Obispo the pop up pumpkin patches that I saw next to the strip malls just didn't inspire me to hunt for the perfect pumpkin. And the truth is that it was kind of an unconscious decision. I didn't realize I was avoiding pumpkin patches until the Middle Sister decided we should go find some pumpkins this fall.
And that is how I found myself at the Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Valley College (IVC) on Saturday morning with my sisters. The urban pumpkin patch offers more than just pumpkins. There are pony rides and petting zoos, bounce houses and places for photos.
And of course, pumpkins. Lots of them. In any size your want. Even great pumpkins!
The sisters were on the hunt for a pumpkin and eventually found what they were looking for.
We were able to head out with our pumpkins before the urban pumpkin patch could start up the bounce house or cotton candy machine. While it was nothing like the pumpkin patch farms I prefer, it was a nice sister adventure on a Saturday morning. The sisters have decorated their front porch with multiple pumpkins and some butternut squash from our Mom's garden. I took some small pumpkins and added them to our entry way for a little fall flavor. 

I guess at the end of the day it doesn't really matter if you get your pumpkins at an urban patch or farm. What really matters is who you spent the day with and the memories you make together. Happy Fall!

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