Autumn is making its presence known with chilly mornings and earlier sunsets. October is the perfect time to visit King County’s farms as they wind down for the year, especially festive pumpkin patches! There are pumpkin patches for every budget, type of family, variety of pumpkins, and activities.
Pumpkins take three to four months to grow, requiring a significant investment of labor and land from farmers who choose to produce this fall favorite. As such, pumpkin patch sales can often financially make or break a farmer’s season.
U-pick pumpkin patches are also often rolled into a larger agritourism service, allowing farmers to make extra money selling admission tickets to patches, photography fees, hot beverages, and food. Pumpkin patches are a unique opportunity for vegetable farmers to diversify their income stream.
Going out to a farm and picking a pumpkin may be the only time of the year an urban family visits a local farm, making pumpkin patches an important financial and relationship-building opportunity for farmers, making this an opportunity to meet new customers and introduce them to other products and services offered at the farm. For guests, visiting a pumpkin patch can allow exploration of agricultural areas of the county and a more tangible understanding of food production.
Supporting u-pick farms by visiting pumpkin patches is also an important way of preserving public open space in the county. Being respectful patrons of u-pick patches gives farmers the ability to continue opening their farm to the public to enjoy.
Explore the county’s agricultural lands, take in the beautiful fall farm scenery, support your local farmers, and maybe even enjoy a cup of hot fresh apple cider at a pumpkin patch this year. Making memories can also make our local food system stronger!