Week 10–Pumpkin Patch

This week’s date was another seasonal date–a visit to our nearby pumpkin patch, called The Great Pumpkin Patch.  It’s been featured previously in Martha Stewart Magazine, and the owner just recently appeared on the Martha Stewart Show as well!  It’s in the heart of Illinois Amish Country and is only about 20 miles south of where we live. 

Admission is $5 for adults, plus the cost of whatever pumpkins or other veggies you choose to purchase.  You can go to the patch yourself and pick a pumpkin, or you can choose from their pre-picked pumpkins if you like.  The past two years we went, we’ve browsed the pre-picked pumpkins, which range from $3-10, depending on size.  Each  year we take a picture in front of the selection.

This year, however, we decided not to purchase pumpkins at the patch.  While we enjoy supporting local farmers, we were trying to keep the “cheap” theme and cut corners where we could with Halloween.  Rather than pay $8 for a pumpkin here, we got 3 pumpkins for that at the grocery store.  So, we went to the pumpkin patch when we already had pumpkins at home, but there’s so much more to do here than just get pumpkins!

There are probably two dozen types of squash, pumpkins, etc.  I think the family is called “curcubits”, but I can’t be for certain.  Eddie and I decided to be adventurous this year and pick up a couple spaghetti squash to try.  One perk of visiting at the end of their season is that they have a lot of produce that they want to sell, or else it goes to waste!  So, most stuff was 1/2 off–so spaghetti squash was $2 each!

One thing I love about this place is all their hand-painted signs.  It just has such a country/folksy feel to the place.  And every year there’s something different!

Another nice thing about the Great Pumpkin Patch is that they have so many animals that you can watch and pet–pigs, goats, sheep, alpaca, bunnies, chickens, etc.  We especially enjoyed the “three little pigs” they had this year!

And of course, their three houses--straw, sticks, and bricks!

And of course, the big bad wolf!

The decor around the place is really fun to see from year to year.  They get creative with hay bales and other random things you might have laying around a farm.  Plus, as I mentioned, the signs are always a highlight… especially the cutouts!

And finally, my favorite part of visiting the Amish area are the baked goods!  Visiting the pumpkin patch is always a great opportunity to visit the Homestead Bakery where you can watch them bake delicious goods from scratch.  If you’ve never had Amish-baked goods, you are truly missing out!  A favorite of mine are the whoopie pies, which are like two soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing in between.  Unfortunately they were out of whoopie pies, but we did get to indulge in some pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing, which was just as tasty!

Pumpkin cookie with an apple cider slush--tastes like Fall!

A common sight in Amish country is buggy-only parking!

This date was so fun.  I wish this place was open for more than just a few weeks in the fall, because it’s one of my favorite places to visit in our area!  For less than $20 we got admission to the grounds, a couple spaghetti squash, and a tasty afternoon treat!  Definately a favorite date of ours!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 20:07:33

    Teale – these are some great ideas! How fun!!! 🙂


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