Everyone's favorite time of year is here, with the seasonal fun making its debut with a big orange pumpkin, or two or three, out on the front stoop. In Maine the pumpkin displays start early as there's no telling how long it will be before they are covered with snow. It's no surprise that great piles of pumpkins can be seen along the rural roads and at every farm stand, grocery store, farmer's market and even convenience stores in the city the minute after those bathing suits have been packed away. Many Maine farmers grow pumpkins, and many augment their crops with fun activities to try and stand out from the crowd. Following are some of the best pumpkin patches in the state.
A family operation for the last hundred years, Berry Fruit Farm offers a diverse range of pumpkins including the typical orange pumpkin, the not-so-typical but growing-in-popularity white pumpkin, the downright unusual warted variety and the strangest of all, heirloom pumpkins from the early 1900s. The latter are totally covered with peanut-like bumps and may be bright red in color. Pick your own or choose one from the piles lining the 1,000-foot wall at the farm's entrance.
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Besides the Pick-Your-Own pumpkin patch with six varieties of pumpkins, there's a corn maze you can get lost in every weekend of October. The 600-acre farm sells much of what it produces in their on-site farm store, including organic beef and pork, freshly-processed milk straight from their own cows, and homemade chicken pies and fruit pies.
Sure, there are pumpkins as far as the eye can see. But there are also kiddie slides, a fire truck, a giant corn box and a dozen other activities that make this a great outing for children. The acre-and-a-half corn maze, geared for kids so it's a bit lower than normal, will keep them occupied while Mom and Dad sample the hard cider in the adult tasting room. Forget your diet and grab a bag of apple cider donuts while you're there.
There's much to do here: Take a hayride through the orchards and out to the pumpkin patch every weekend until Columbus Day, or later if weather permits. Stop by Capt. Jack's Donut Shack for cider donuts, coffee and cold or hot mulled cider. Visit the farm animals and get lost in the corn maze. No dogs allowed in the orchards, but there are miles of trails you can hike with them. Grab your fill of apples and pumpkins and pay by the pound on your way out.
Go for a pumpkin or two but plan on staying for a day of fun activities at this family-owned farm. There's a six-acre corn maze and a separate mini-maze for the kids, face painting, farm-made kettle corn and a giant jumping pillow, which is basically a huge trampoline. Besides the hayride to the pumpkin patch where they'll choose their own future jack-o-lantern, children will love petting the farm animals.
Open every weekend in October, you'll enjoy a memorable hayride ride out to the pumpkin patch surrounded by incredibly beautiful fall foliage. There's a barn open to the public where you can visit the goats, sheep and cows, all of them quite appreciative of the company. Bikes are available to rent for a spin through the woods, and seasonal veggies are for sale, as are pasture-raised beef and lamb.
Many choices await you at Zach's. Top on the list is the tractor-pulled hayride to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, consisting of five rows that cover a half-mile. There is also a 17-acre corn maze that has become a local favorite since its inception in 2004. Each year a different design is cut into the cornfields. Over the years it has featured such images as a spider, bat, pumpkin, peace sign, triangle, and a farm tractor pulling two wagons.
Horse-drawn wagon rides on weekends in October will delight the whole family. Pick your own pumpkins and apples or load up on the decorative gourds and cornstalks for sale in the farm store. Also available are the farm's own soaps and hand cream, along with other Maine-made products. A luscious array of homemade pastries and breads, deli sandwiches, fresh crabmeat rolls, ice cream and apple cider donuts suggest that you arrive hungry and plan on eating there.
Beginning operations in 1939, this family-run farm is now the oldest customer-based business in Corinna and one of the first in Maine to start the tradition of letting people pick their own pumpkins out in the growing fields. In 2004, to keep up with rising costs, the farm's owner got into the "agritainment business" by adding a six-acre corn maze and a one-acre play area for children. Be advised: "No pets, no smoking, shoes and shirts required!"
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