One of the perks of living in an agricultural area is that when pumpkin season rolls in, you don’t have to travel far to get your gourd. A short drive in any direction in the Finger Lakes usually takes you past a farm with a big sign of pumpkins for sale.
And visiting pumpkin patches is a well-loved family outing for a lot of families this time of year. Many farms will offer various levels of work to get your pumpkin. Some farmers will hand you a knife and a map and tell you where the ripe ones are. Climbing a flatbed truck and being escorted out into the fields and back with your pumpkin haul is what some farms offer. Or for those folks who want the work already done for them, some farms have a selection to choose from, with the pumpkins ready and waiting by the roadside.
The other important question when it comes to pumpkins is knowing what you plan to do with it when you get home. Some pumpkins are great for carving and make excellent jack-o-lanterns, whereas others are best for baking. Be sure to ask the farm before you buy so that you know you’re getting the right squash for your purposes.
Here’s a short list of pumpkin stands around the region.
Iron Kettle: This farm in Candor, New York has been around since 1969. It features not only a wide selection of pumpkins, but also a display that can impress visitors of all ages—pumpkins painted and transformed into a variety of characters. For more information visit: www.ironkettlefarm.com.
Indian Creek: This farm is close to the downtown Ithaca area, and it is “only a pumpkin toss” away from the area’s other attractions such as wineries and waterfalls, making it perhaps an ideal location for a fall afternoon in the Ithaca area. Although a “Crop Alert” from Oct. 15 announced its U-Pick pumpkins are picked out, visitors can still find a variety of pumpkins around the farm to purchase in addition to apples and Brussels sprouts to pick. For more information visit: indiancreekithaca.com.
Grisamore Farms: This fifth-generation family farm in Locke, N.Y. not only offers the opportunity to pick pumpkins from a field and apples from a tree, but also some fun farm animals to visit! To learn more visit: www.grisamorefarms.com.
The Pumpkin Stand: This little stand on Route 414 in Ovid, N.Y. offers a wide selection of pumpkins to choose from and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Labor Day until Halloween. To learn more visit: https://thepumpkinstand.com.
Cayuga Sunrise Farm: Located just outside the Village of Trumansburg on Route 96, this farm raises livestock for a CSA and sells organic hay in addition to being known as a destination for pumpkin picking festivities in the fall. The pumpkin patch, featuring organically grown pumpkins, is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the end of October For more information visit: https://cayugasunrisefarm.wixsite.com/farm/the-pumpkin-patch.