By Carol OMeara
Colorado State University Extension Boulder County 

Pumpkin patches are perfect for fall fun

 
Series: Carol OMeara | Story 1

October 2, 2019 | View PDF

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October is arriving and with it the annual pilgrimage to pumpkin patches.

October is arriving and with it the annual pilgrimage to pumpkin patches. Prowling in fields or rummaging through bins looking for the perfect jack-o-lantern, we’re all getting into the fall mood.

Memorable fall enjoyment is ripe for picking at area farms, and local growers are holding their harvest festivals complete with orange, grey, white, warty, and giant novelty pumpkins. Hop on a hayride or test your skill at navigating a corn maze; you’ll find there’s fun for everyone at area patches.

If you plan on getting out early to pick your pumpkin, choose one that lasts with these tips:

Strong stems keep the pumpkin fresh, so look for those that are fully attached to the skin.

Choose firm, not mushy pumpkins. Avoid those with cuts in the skin; they’ll rot quickly.

Keep your pumpkin cool, not freezing or overly hot. Store away from direct sunlight, and bring it in if frost is predicted.

Once your pumpkin is picked and safely home, keep it fresh and ready for the big night with these tips:

Wait to carve your pumpkin until one or two days before Halloween.

Scrape out the walls to a thickness of one inch for easiest carving.

Immediately after carving, smear petroleum jelly over the interior and cut surfaces to lock moisture in.

Pumpkins wilt in three days; perk yours up by soaking it in water. Mix one teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water to prevent mold from growing.

Ready to shop? Check out these pumpkin patches near you this fall:

Red Wagon Farm, 7694 North 63rd St., Longmont offers u-pick or easy-shop pumpkins, straw bale maze, and fun meeting alpacas, llamas, goats and other animal residents of the farm (redwagonfarmboulder.com/the-farm/pumpkin-patch/).


7th Generation Farm, 1536 Courtesy Rd., Louisville, for hayrides, pumpkin picking, and corn maze. Check out their farm fresh meat, eggs, and honey while you’re there (7thgenerationfarm.com/; 720-841-3836).

Rock Creek Farm, 2005 S. 112th St., Broomfield, for traditional jack-o’-lantern and pie type pumpkins in one of the largest u-pick pumpkin patches in Colorado. For hours and days of operation, check their website at rockcreekfarm.com.

Anderson Farms, 6728 WCR 3 ¼, Erie, features farm tours, corn mazes, zombie paintball hunt, and handicapped accessible U-pick pumpkin fields (andersonfarms.com/).

Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch, 9057 Ute Highway, Longmont, rockymtnpumpkinranch.com. Buzz into this organic pumpkin ranch to check out fun for goblins, young and old, including observing honeybees in their hive.

River Ranch Farms, 1220 Langston Ln., Loveland offers pumpkin picking along the picturesque Big Thompson river. Thousands of pumpkins to browse through (riverranchfarms.com/Home.html).

Munson Farms at the corner of Valmont and 75th St., Boulder, is a place to go on a hayride or find classic and unusual pumpkins of white, slate blue or firehouse red (munsonfarms.com/).

Cottonwood Farm,10600 Isabelle Rd, Lafayette, specializes in fall fun for everyone. Mazes, hayrides, pumpkins, gourds and more at this family owned farm (cottonwoodfarms.com/).

Our Colorado Master Gardener program in Boulder County is currently taking applications for the spring class. If you are interested in helping others garden, the Colorado Master Gardener program is for you! Classes run late January through mid-April and will be held every Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact us at 303-678-6238 to receive an application or apply on-line at cmg.extension.colostate.edu/.


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