It’s Pumpkin Patch and Festival Time

Autumn is a great time to visit a farm. What would Halloween and Thanksgiving be without agriculture?  As the leaves change color and the air starts to cool, fall brings corn mazes, u-pick pumpkin patches and harvest festivals all around the globe.

There are plenty of farms and festivals to visit during this colorful time of year to find that perfect carving pumpkin. Most farms and farm trails open their u-pick pumpkin patches in September and remain open through the end of October. There are also a number of pumpkin and harvest festivals in October. Most farms not only feature pumpkins, but hayrides, farm animals, corn mazes, gift shops, and even cooking classes.

If you are looking for individual pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, or other harvest festivals, check out this site, which features listings by state and several countries including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

There are also plenty of pumpkin festivals and weigh-offs to choose from this time of year. One of the longest running and best known of these is the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, California. The 39th Annual event takes place October 17 and 18 and features several farm pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, the Great Pumpkin Parade, haunted house, pie-eating, carving and costume contests, all kicked off with the champion pumpkin weigh-off. Last year’s winning pumpkin topped over, 1,500 pounds.

One of the most entertaining pumpkin events is Delaware’s World Championship Punkin Chunkin Contest, to be held November 6, 7, and 8. This event has grown to include over 70 teams all competing to see who can “chuck” or throw their pumpkin the farthest. There are also other contests during the three-day event including a pumpkin cooking contest and chili cook-off.

To find a pumpkin festival or weigh-off near you, check out Pumpkin Nook’s site for listings across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

And, to find statewide pumpkin festivals, check out this site.

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


Carole K.
Carole K7 years ago

Just went to a wedding this evening;& the bride chose fall theme decorations. Their family planted & grew all types of gourds, pumpkins, & squash in their garden this year & they used them for the wedding decor. The flower girl scattered fall color leaves. Medium size pumpkins were hollowed out to hold mums & other fall flowers. Wheat bundles marked pew ends; & corn shocks were positioned throughout the banquet hall with piles of pumpkins around the shocks. Table runners had more groups of miniature pumpkins, gourds & wheat bundles. There must have been thousands of pumpkins & gourds there in all sizes, shapes, & colors. Very beautiful & very different from any other wedding I've ever attended. As I mentioned, the family grew most of the decorations themselves, such a wonderful green expression of love shared at a special event.

Liz Thompson
Elisabeth T7 years ago

Love the fall...

Judi G.
Judith G8 years ago

Yeah, I love fall, I think I love it even better than spring. I have one huge pumpkin on my pumpkin plant, but it's still green! Don't know what happened this year and why there's only 1 but hoping it turns orange at least before Thanksgiving!

Thanks for checking in and commenting, I really appreciate it!

megan m.
megan m8 years ago

ahhh, october is my favorite month and autumn is my favorite season.
Pumpkins are the best symbols for this time of year and I adore them.
One year, I'm gonna try and grow my own pumpkin patch!

Pamela C.
Pamela C8 years ago

I have a pumpkin-carving ritual where I carve the jack o' lantern within a day or two of Samhain and put the seeds and pulp into its own little space in the garden. On November 1st, I take the jack o' lantern out to the garden to join the seeds and pulp and let them return to the earth.

Carol H.
Past Member 8 years ago

Please remember that most fleshy pumpkins are good to eat! It is strange that most people throw them away! If you leave them uncarved, when the festivities are over, you can boil or bake the cleaned fresh shell into any of many tasty healthful recipes.