Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Pumpkin Patch Visit October 23, 2008

Last weekend, we made our annual foray to the closest pumpkin patch to Seattle, Redmond’s South 47 Farm. As the last remaining farm in the Sammamish Valley and a not-so-distant neighbor of Microsoft, this organic farm is struggling valiantly to survive in the midst of ex-urban sprawl. Its farm education programs for kids are helping to bring up a new generation of people who will know where their food actually comes from, and they do a great job of providing three-season fun (they close for the winter after pumpkin season is done). We visited for berry picking this summer and had a wonderful time.

More pumpkins than you can shake a stick at! Actually, I think some of these are probably imported from other farms, they’d never keep up with the demand otherwise.

Pumpkins galore

We didn’t have time to try the corn maze, which can take up to an hour to walk. Maybe next year. For small children, the pole bean maze is a little more reasonable anyway.

About to begin the pole bean maze

As a working organic farm, South 47 tries to conserve resources whenever possible. Their tractor is an antique, probably kept running with duct tape and baling wire. Here it is, taking a cartload of hayriders around for a tour.

Tractor-pulled hayride

The world-famous Herbfarm Restaurant leases land on the farm to grow herbs and veggies for their diners. The Herbfarm is kind of like the Chez Panisse of the Northwest, and is one of those places I hope to go someday after I win the lottery (despite never buying a ticket).

We somehow managed to resist the allure of these baby pumpkins, mostly because our family grows some to share every year and we get in trouble if we buy any!

Baby pumpkins

This patch of ground was empty at the moment, save for furrows and a few recent footprints… I liked the cosmos and other flowers growing casually at its border.

Running through the fields

Our daughter’s favorite stuffed creature for years has been Pumpkinman (her name), a small el cheapo toy from the drugstore that we bought years ago. He came with us to visit his pumpkin kin and got to ride in the wheelbarrow to the cashiers’.

Pumpkinman and kin

No we didn’t buy that many pumpkins! A kind family allowed us to share the pumpkin transport since we had struck out on finding one and had forgotten our trusty red wagon.

Tall stem green pumpkin

Another year, another Halloween, another seemingly successful harvest for South 47 Farm.


3 Responses to “Pumpkin Patch Visit”

  1. Racquel Says:

    What a nice memory you are creating for your daughter by taking her to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. 🙂

  2. Lona Says:

    What a wonderful days outing. These farms are needed so much for our children because sad to say some do not even know where produce is grown or how.The experience of going to pick a pumpkin makes for lasting memories.

  3. Marijke Says:

    ooooo this is so america… i remember the pumpkin pie my mom used to prepare around halloween.

    did you know the old indians would have an agriculture of three kinds of vegetables together: pumpkin – corn – peas. peas will keep the soil fertile, pumpkin can grow on the ground, and corn more into the air.

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