Pumpkin patches in the 21st century are more of an attraction than they are about putting food up for the winter. Although the rise in the popularity of Halloween over the past decade may have something to do with it, we think there is more to it than that. It has become more about entertainment and giving people the opportunity to explore a way of life that they don’t often get to see living in the city. In general, pumpkin patches are simply fun weekend activities that the whole family can enjoy. When you visit a pumpkin patch these days there is a lot more to them than there might have been several decades ago, and the best part is you can support small businesses and get a beautiful fresh pumpkin at the same time. In all actuality a few decades ago pumpkin patches in and of themselves might have been non existent. One would have been more likely to see a Fall or Winter garden with Turnips, Cabbage, Radishes, and only a few pumpkins.
These days farmers that grow pumpkins have not only expanded the amounts of pumpkins they grow but have upgraded their presentation as well. Remember when we were kids and you would take a field trip to pick out a tiny pumpkin with your schoolmates? Now, some of the ‘you pick it’ style pumpkin patches have grown up ‘so to speak’ and added attractions to draw crowds daily to their sites. Some people refer to this as agri-tourism.
Most of the farms promoting you-pick pumpkins for the Fall season also have several other activities. For instance many pumpkin patches also offer hay rides, farm animals, and other fun activities. The simple pumpkin patch, is not always so simple anymore.
Small businesses have been fighting for years to overcome the lure of the big easily accessed superstores. Figuring out a way to get people out of their cars and experience rural life, and pumpkin patches are allowing people to do just that. Picking your own pumpkin is still a big part of the experience though. However, there is indeed much more to it, and it has seemingly become a major part of the Fall experience leading up to Halloween.
From now on when you think of buying a pumpkin for your Fall Festival jack’o lantern carving contest don’t head out to a big chain store. Search around and find out which of your local pumpkin patches offers some of these great additions. Picking out the perfect pumpkin has long been a great bonding experience for the family and now it can be even more fun with all the amazing new attractions that are springing up. Supporting your local community has never been so fun.