By now everything seems to be pumpkin themed, flavored, or spiced. Everywhere you go for a drink, coffee, or groceries there is bound to be something pumpkin or pumpkin-flavored. What better way to celebrate this time of year than to actually get it from the source? Whether you would like to carve a pumpkin, eat a pumpkin, or flavor your frappuccino with pumpkin, local Minnesota pumpkin patches have all the orange goodness you need.
Just be careful about consuming too much pumpkin: You might actually turn into one.
As a kid, I always loved going to pumpkin patches. And, since I’m pretty much a kid stuck in a 26-year-old’s body, I still enjoy them. It’s always been something about choosing the right pumpkin, or maybe it’s the other way around and the pumpkin I carve every year has always chosen me. I’m not a pumpkin spice enthusiast per se, but I do enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie from time to time (and it has to be almost completely covered in whipped cream). Baking pumpkin seeds in the oven was fun too, but I mostly just liked eating them after. I don’t think it’s as much about consuming the pumpkin as it is creating art from it. The round orange pumpkin is my canvas (or marble block rather), and my knives and scoops are my paint brushes and chisels. Every year has been something different, and some designs and carvings have turned out better than others, but it’s always been about the process and seeing it light up with candle lights. As much as the pumpkin glows, I glow too from the joy of creating and carving. It’s a good thing we live in Minnesota because there is an abundance of pumpkin patches and farms located throughout. A great source I use to find pumpkins is through a website called Minnesota Grown.
Minnesota Grown is a program that has a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. For over 30 years Minnesota Grown has become one of the largest directories to support over 1,000 farms and farmer’s markets.
This is obviously the time of year for pumpkins for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Holiday Season. Minnesota has over 140 farms across the state that produce pumpkins. Check out their directory at minnesotagrown.com/member-directory. They display an easily-navigable, interactive map that shows which farms are where, and what they have to offer.
While you’re at it, be sure to utilize their search function which allows site visitors to pinpoint where they would like to find their pumpkins closest to them. Users are able to search local farms, farmers markets, along with their other favorite farm grown produce.
I don’t always pick up my pumpkins from the same farm or patch every year. Visiting other farms and patches creates more of an adventure for me, along with seeing another part of the state to experience the lovely fall weather.
Find a patch near you and enjoy your pumpkins. Happy carving.