Pumpkin season is upon us in the Finger Lakes! As if Starbucks didn’t make it clear enough with it’s recent introduction of an annual fall favorite, the pumpkin spice latté, pumpkins are a big deal around here. Now that October has begun, it’s time to start carving, roasting, baking, and most importantly, picking!
I got my fair share of pumpkin picking this past weekend in Stanley, NY at Pick n’ Patch farm, an ‘all-things-fall’ farm. Not only did they have rows and rows of orange, green and white pumpkins to choose from, they also had a petting zoo, a pumpkin house (see picture!) a potato launcher, a bounce house, and an 8-acre corn maize – a story all its own.
This was no easy corn maize - it took my friend and I an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. Thankfully, they had employees scattered throughout the maize to guide the lost. You could spot these helpers by their bright yellow shirts that read “Corn Cop” on the back - pretty humorous. However, there were a few moments in there where no Corn Cop could be found. The sun was beating down on us, in our long fall sweaters, as we stood between the breeze-less corn stocks not knowing right from left. Luckily Pick n’ Patch has the corn maize down pat (and they should for being open almost 20 years!)
Before we entered, an employee gave us two questionnaires to help guide us through. I chose “music/TV/movies” and my friend chose “corn facts”. When you come across a number in the maize, which was always at a fork, you would look at the number on the questionnaire, and choose an answer. Like “What friends character had a twin sister? A. Joey B. Chandler C. Monica or D. Phoebe. Next to the answers would be a direction to turn (right or left) and if you guessed right you were on to the next number, but if you guessed wrong you would be led the wrong way. It was actually pretty tricky stuff. By the end of it we were pretty dizzy and confused from walking around in a desolate field of yellow and green stocks towering over us, and we desperately needed water. To get out, we eventually just followed the clunking sound of the potato launcher since we knew that was the station right next to the entrance. It’s not cheating; it’s being resourceful!
After the maize (and petting zoo, of course) came the most important moment: the pumpkin picking. I scaled the rows and found two of the most perfect pumpkins, which to most might seem like I picked the most imperfect pumpkins (I like the ones with a little character). I put them in my wagon, one green and orange and thick-stemmed and the other totally oval shaped, and pulled them towards the check out as I imagined what I would carve into them. I could taste the roasted seeds!
All in all it was a great day in the Finger Lakes! On the drive there we passed Seneca Lake and could almost see the leaves that lined the lake change color before our eyes as they danced in the fall wind. Such a great time of year!