Pumpkin Patches and More…

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I absolutely LOVE West Chester in the fall!!

I live very close to the Gordon Nature Preserve (http://www.gordonarea.org/) and one of my all-time favorite autumn activities is taking long walks along the trails with my dog, Lady, and my step-daughter. We indulge in hot chocolate as we discuss the new school year – friends, teachers, cafeteria gossip, and basically anything that bubbles up in that wonderfully complex mind of hers.

Now, with that being said, I am still hanging on to the smell of sunscreen, remnants of sand in my beach bag and my rapidly-fading tan lines with a death grip – I do not go gently into that good season. My stubbornness to transition the closets, rake the leaves, and throw salt and a scraper into the trunk of my car, leave me scrambling at the last minute. Halloween is usually the first marker that indicates my avoidance and the typical kitchen dialogue that ensues each year goes a little something like this…

Step-daughter (SD): Meghan, I want to be Annie this year for Halloween. The Annie at the end of the movie with the red dress. Can you also get me a curly red wig and the shoes she wears? I want to wear it for the Halloween party at school.

Me: When is the party at school?

SD: Tomorrow

Me: {diving at the laptop for the last-minute-parent’s best friend – Amazon and next day shipping} Ummmm, let me see what I can do.

SD: We’re also supposed to bring something for the party….let’s make cupcakes!!!

Me: {cracking open a bottle of wine and searching for some form of chocolate in the house} Ugh! I forgot to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters when I was at Sam’s Club last week.

Text message from friend: Are you going to the party on Saturday? The invite says costumes are mandatory. I just got back from the store and all that is left is witch and sexy maid.What are you wearing?

SD: Can we dress Lady up like Annie’s dog? Maybe we can make her really dirty like dog at the beginning of the movie.

Hubby: Can you pick me up a costume for the party on Saturday? Anything will do…just don’t get {insert long list of costume requirements}

Me: I miss summer

However, in attempts to turn over a new leaf, embrace the dropping temps and make the apple cider go down smoother, I am actually going to wave goodbye to the flickering images of summer and turn, head-first, donned in scarf and hat, into fall. To help you do the same, here is my helpful hint for the Halloween season and a list of all pumpkin patches in the Chester County area:

How to preserve your carved pumpkin to make it last longer:

Here are the simple steps:
1.    Remove dirt: Wipe the exterior surfaces of the pumpkin clean using a damp cloth.
2.    Make a bleach solution of1 tablespoon of bleach (typical brand name “Clorox) per quart of water and put it in a spray bottle.
3.    Spray the pumpkin inside and all cut areas of the pumpkin with the solution.  This will kill much of the surface bacteria and mold that cause rotting.
4.    Let it penetrate and dry for about 20 minutes
5.    Next, rub all of the carved or cut surfaces with petroleum jelly. This will keep out new bacteria and molds as well as dramatically reduce the dehydration!
6.    Wipe away excess with a paper towel!
7.    Now, keep your pumpkin out of direct sunlight and try to keep it as cool as possible (but above freezing!) and you should get at least a week’s enjoyment out of it!


 

Clarks Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Farm – Pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, gift shop, restrooms, school tours, events at your location
235 Pusey Mill Rd, Cochranville, PA 19330
Website: http://www.clarkspumpkinpatch.com/
Phone: 610-358-4933. Fax: 610-497-0110
Email: billclark2001@hotmail.com.
Open: Weekends beginning October 1 from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Payment: Cash, Check, Visa/MasterCard

Farmer’s Daughter Farm Market – Pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, corn maze, haunted corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, wagon rides, pre-picked produce, gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand, face painting, birthday parties, school tours, and homegrown sweet corn-what they’re famous for!
3190 Schuylkill Road, Spring City, PA 19475
Website: http://www.farmersdaughterfarmmarket.com/
Phone: 610-495-4555
Fax: 610-495-1488
Email: Farmersdaughterfarmmarket@verizon.net
Crops are usually available in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
Open: 7 days a week 9-7pm, Extended hours seasonally, March thru Dec. Open Thur.- Sun. 10-5pm Jan. and Feb.
Payment: Cash, Visa/MasterCard, Discover, AmEx

Highland Orchards – Pumpkins, pick-your-own apples, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, child-sized haybale maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, prepicked produce, gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, birthday
parties, school tours
1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd, West Chester, PA 19380
Website:  http://www.highlandorchards.net/HOInc/Welcome.html
Phone: 610 269-3494
Email: events@highlandorchards.net
Directions: From PHILADELPHIA — King of Prussia Take Schuykill Expressway West, to 202 South, to Route 30 West, to Route 340 Thorndale Exit. Turn left off of exit ramp onto Bondsville Rd/ 340E. Stay on the road, the road name changes. Go Apx. 6 miles to Highland Orchards on the right.
Open: all year Summer and Fall Hours Monday – Saturday, 9 am to 6 pm, Sunday 10 am to 6 pm, Picking Registration ends daily at 5 pm
Payment: Cash, Check, Visa/MasterCard

Hurricane Hill Farm – Pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, corn maze, haunted corn maze, straw or hay bale maze, child-sized haybale maze, corn cannon, pre-picked produce, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, tractor-pulled hayrides, wagon rides, face painting, petting zoo
704 E. Reeceville Rd., Coatesville, PA 19320
Website:  http://www.hhfmaze.com/home.html
Phone: 610-213-5944
Email: tregs1510@aol.com.
Directions: Route 30 bypass west to Brandywine hospital exit-watch for signs. Route 322 to Rt. 82-watch for signs.
Open: Summer Produce and pumpkins: all week from 10 am to 6pm; Corn maze: Saturday from 10 am to 6pm. and Sunday from 11am -5pm. Groups during the week and nighttime mazes and hayrides on Friday and Saturday’s in
October from 6pm-9pm.  Pumpkins: On sale in the fall season with corn stalks and many other fall decorations. The 5 acre corn maze with a trivia and puzzle game inside opens September 17th. We also have flashlight mazes and moonlight hayrides during Friday and Saturday nights in October.
Payment: Cash, Check

Marlborough Valley Corn Maze – Pumpkin patch, 8.5 acre corn maze, hay jump, petting zoo, corn box, 20 minute horse-drawn hayride, larger goat walk, corn cannon, pick your own pumpkin patch (only 25cents a lb!), and much more! All included in general admission.
Wawaset Rd (Rt842), Kennett Square, PA 19348
Phone: 610 347 1314
Website: http://pamaze.com/
Email: MVMAZE@aol.com.
Also, for sale: Barbecue food , cotton candy, ice cream, hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and cold drinks. Guess your pumpkins weight and it’s free! VIP pass includes ice cream, beverage, and no lines!

Milky Way Farm – Pumpkins, hay rides
521 E. Uwchlan Ave. (Rte. 113), Chester Springs, Pennsylvania 19425
Website:  http://www.milkywayfarm.com/pumpkin-season.htm
Email:  cows@milkywayfarm.com
Phone: 610-827-1484
On October weekends, the farm is open from 10 am to 5pm, and free hayrides run continuously to take visitors to the pumpkin patch 10 acres of pumpkins which yield approximately 25,000 pumpkins in a favorable weather year. Visitors to the farm can purchase pumpkins right off the vine in the pumpkin patch or select them in the sales area. We also grow and sell such other fall harvest products as gourds, Indian Corn, crook-neck pumpkin, squash, corn stalk bundles, miniature pumpkins and many fall decorative items.

Olszanowski Farm – Pumpkins, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, corn maze, moonlight maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, pre-picked produce, restrooms, birthday parties, school tours
315 Pughtown road, Spring City, PA 19475
Website: http://smfhorses.com/olszanowskifarm.html
Phone: 610-385-9018
Directions: 1/2 mile past rt. 23 turn east off of rt. 100 onto Pughtown Road and follow for 3 miles
Open: Saturday, September 20th – Fri. 7pm -9pm, Sat. 11am-9pm, Sun 11am – 5pm
Payment: Cash, Check.
Campfire at night! Bring your s’more supplies, wear old shoes and bring a flashlight for moonlight maze.

Stratton’s Wynnorr Farm – Pumpkins, turkeys, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, pre-picked produce, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, tractor-pulled hay rides
1631 East Street Road Route 926 between Route 3 and Route 352, Westtown, PA 19395
Website: http://www.wynnorrfarm.com/
Phone: 610-399-9080
Email us at: StrattonsFarm@aol.com
Directions: We are located on Route 926 (Street Road) 1/4 mile east of Route 352 and 1 mile west of Route 3 in Westtown Township, Chester County. 5 miles east of West Chester, 6 miles west of Newtown Square
Crops are usually available in June, July, August, September, October.
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day Open Daily 9 am to 6:30 pm, September & October – Weekdays 3-6 pm, Weekends 10 am to 6 pmPayment: Cash, Check, Visa/MasterCard.

Meghan Kelly

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