Get The Scoop from the Pumpkin Patch

Fall is such a wonderful time of year in Shady Pines. Everywhere you look there’s an explosion of color.  And I really like the cooler weather, don’t you? I’m Scoop the Cub Reporter for The Shady Pines Gazette.

With Halloween just around the corner, a lot of folks are off to the local Pumpkin Patch.  I’m headed that way right now. My assignment is to discover why so many folks say this is one of their favorite things to do each year as a family.

One thing I’ve noticed is that from toddlers to teens, like myself, a pumpkin patch is fun for everyone. First of all, you get some exercise and you’re outside.

And, most of these working farms are so big you don’t have to worry about social distancing. You should bring your mask along anyway. At some point you will have to pay for the pumpkins you’re going to take home. That puts you close to the person who checks you out. Okay, I’m here. I’ve gotta interview people.

One mom I met told said, “If your kids don’t explore the outdoors very often, this is a great way for them to discover nature. Seeing how pumpkins grow out of the ground and are attached to vines is very educational. It helps them understand that pumpkins don’t just show up at the grocery store automatically.”

I can already see for myself that this is one place where children can run around and discover things for themselves. That’s really important. I know I like to find those unexpected, special, moments. For instance, take a look at this shot I got. Do you see the colors of that butterfly next to the pumpkin? Being out on the farm you can just be amazed at Mother Nature. I think this kind of stuff is really cool!

I met another mom who told me, “From the second we arrived, my children ran off with smiles, but quickly, they realized how much work it was to be in a field of pumpkins. Even running took work since the vines were everywhere, waiting to trip little, toddler-sized running feet.”

It turns out that not only is this a great way to spend time with the family, there are also some lessons to be learned. There aren’t a whole bunch of people working the farms these days. So a lot of  kids don’t realize it takes hard work to be a farmer. One young girl I met was getting a little taste of that. Just trying to push a wheelbarrow with a big ‘ole pumpkin was something she hadn’t done before. The other thing she said was that she didn’t know pumpkins grew from tiny seeds. She also didn’t realize that they come in so many shapes, sizes and colors. “It’s kinda like people, isn’t it?” she asked.

I have to admit, I’d never thought of that before.  It seems there are a lot of things to find in the pumpkin patch. One couple I met said they love coming out here each October. But this year it was especially important to them. “We know so many farms and other small businesses are struggling right now because of the pandemic. It was important to us to come out and support them.”

That’s reason enought for me to go home with some pumpkins of my own. I don’t know about you, but our family usually has a pumpkin carving contest. Last year my dad won. It’s time for me to take the title back! The other reason I need to pick up some pumpkins is to inspire my mom. Around Halloween she likes to scare up some pumpkin dishes for us. I’m talking about everything from pumpkin pies to pumpkin pancakes. Here are some recipes for you to try: PUMPKIN RECIPES

There’s one more thing I want to mention.

These pumpkin patch visits make for some great family photos. Everywhere I look I’m seeing parents taking all sorts of shots.

Oh, look at the time. I’ve got to get back to the Gazette office. My editor, Zulah Talmadge, is probably wondering why I’ve been gone so long.  But this is just so darn much fun. Hope you’ve enjoyed it!

– Scoop out.