Farms Abound with Colorful Gourds for Halloween and Holiday Decorating
Story by Tim Tesconi
Fall has been described as the most habitable season of the year and that description certainly holds true in Sonoma County where the agricultural bounty offers a comforting cornucopia of sensual delights.
Fall brings the smell of fermenting grapes, the crunch of corn stalks and fields of colorful gourds – all cast in the shadowy slant of the afternoon sunlight. This is the time to hit the trail to pick a pumpkin or two at one of the many farms that stretch from Healdsburg to Petaluma. These pumpkin farms are mom-and-pop operations, offering the chance to enjoy a family outing – even a picnic – while finding the perfect orb to carve into a Jack-o-Lantern or just prop on the front porch.
While on the pumpkin trail, stop at country outlets along the back roads of Sonoma County to purchase fresh produce, cheese and meat for a fall dinner that celebrates the best of Sonoma County. And, of course, accompany it with glass of Sonoma County wine, preferably, a Harvest Fair medal winner.
Here is the Great Guide to Sonoma County Pumpkin Patches
Adobe Pumpkin Farm — 6-acre corn maze, haunted house, gift shop. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2478 E. Washington St. at Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA.
Grandma's Pumpkin Patch — Hay pyramid, corn field, climb-on tractors. Open daily 10 a.m. to dusk, 17740 Healdsburg Ave at Lytton Springs Rd, Healdsburg, CA.
Great Peter Pumpkin Patch — Dig potatoes, milk a cow, baby animal petting zoo, U-pick pumpkins, hay pyramid, pumpkin ice cream, tractor rides, picnic areas, live music on weekends, no activity/entrance/parking fees. Open daily 9 a.m. to dusk. Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Company, 4235 Spring Hill Rd., Two Rock/Petaluma, CA. Phone: 707-762-3446. www.springhillcheese.com
Hale's Apple Farm — Pumpkins plus 30 varieties of apples and heirloom tomatoes. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1526 Gravenstein Hwy. N., Sebastopol, CA.
McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch, 65475 Bodega Ave., Petaluma. A fun outing for the family. While picking a pumpkin learn about a working organic family dairy farm. Watch cows being milked, pet baby calves, and engage in farming activities. Every Saturday & Sunday in October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Phone: 707- 664-0452
Muelrath Ranches Pumpkins — 21 varieties of pumpkins plus a hay tunnel, corn maze, pumpkin slingshot. Open Monday – Thursday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 3 -9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 3800 Walker Ave., Santa Rosa, CA.
Oluf's Ranch Pumpkin Patch — Hay maze & rides, animal corral. Open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for school and groups; 1 p.m. to dusk for the general public; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to dusk,
899 Shiloh Rd., Windsor, CA.
Petaluma Pumpkin Patch & Amazing Corn Maze - pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, corn maze, prepicked produce, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, petting zoo. 550 Stony Point Road, Petaluma, CA 94952. Free parking & free admission to the pumpkin patch Sunday- Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Corn maze closes at 9:30 p.m. Don't miss the Friday & Saturday "Night Maze".
Peterson's Pumpkins - Pumpkins, tomatoes, honey. 636 Gossage Avenue, Petaluma, CA. 94952. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in October.
To Be Added: Contact Sonoma County Farm Bureau if you would like your Pumpkin Patch added to this list. 707-544-5575