One of our Halloween traditions has been going to a pumpkin patch with our friends Dave and Megan. We have been going for years, even before either of us had kids. We wanted to keep some of our traditions going while on the road, so we looked for nearby pumpkin patches. We planned on FaceTiming with our friends while they were also at a pumpkin patch.
We ended up choosing Bonita Pumpkin Farm. It wasn’t too far from our campground and it was listed as one of the “farm” locations for this company.
There was a line to get in, as they were limiting the number of people in the area (COVID). You entered under a tent, with hay bales and decorations for picture taking to the right, and the check out to the left.
Walking straight ahead through the tent area, there were rows of pumpkins. Off to the right were port-a-lets, a petting zoo (it looked like goats only), and a cut-your-own sunflower patch. They also offered a hay ride and a train ride. There was a small patch of pumpkins growing, just much much smaller than I was expecting. We did see large boxes of pumpkins behind the petting zoo by the bathrooms, so I think most of their pumpkins were shipped in.
The sunflower field was off to the right of the entrance tent, behind the petting zoo. You could use one of their clippers and cut your own for $2/stem. The sunflower field was bigger than the pumpkin field! They were really pretty (and one of my favorite flowers).
Back home, it can be a little bit of a hike through the fields to find the right pumpkin and they loved finding the biggest one. When they were younger, we carried the pumpkins, but as they got older we made it a rule that they have to be able to carry their own pumpkins. The kids have to be able to carry it back to the hay ride (to get back to the cashier), to the check out line, and to the car. It’s worked so far, and the kids love picking out their pumpkins. Here in San Diego, the pumpkins were a lot more expensive, so they had a price limit and ended up with smaller pumpkins that were very easily carried.
It was a different experience than I was expecting, or used to. I guess growing up in Ohio, we were spoiled and used to a larger sized farm for our pumpkins. It was still nice to catch up with our friends and do a virtual pumpkin patch together.
We did also get a larger sized pumpkin later in the day at Costco.