We are smack dab in the middle of pumpkin season. Chances are, you’ve already got several of them displayed in your yard or lining your front steps. You may have already taken to carving a few of them. But in case you’re a procrastinator, there’s still plenty of pumpkins to be picked and a variety of local farms or pumpkin patches to visit in the Richmond and surrounding area. Not only will you be able to grab some pretty ‘punkins, but you can also take advantage of other fall festivities like hayrides, corn mazes, haunted forests, pumpkin painting- even pig racing and bonfires! This is the last weekend that most farms will be open so grab the kids and take advantage of the gorgeous Virginia fall weather and foliage! Here are a few places to check out:
Ashland Berry Farm
12607 Old Ridge Road in Beaverdam
(804) 227- 3601
Pumpkins range anywhere from $2 to $20 or you can pay $20 to pick all that you can carry in your arms. Also offers it’s freakishly frightening Haunted Evenings program where the fearless can take a hayride out to get dropped off and wander through Booger Woods (bringing an extra pair of underwear is strongly suggested). :) Also offered are free hay rides, Billy Goat Land, a hay maze for $3 admission, and the Boo House for $1 admission.
Chesterfield Berry Farm
26002 Pear Orchard Rd
Come and enjoy the Pumpkin Festival Weekends, which are held every weekend. Just a few of the other activities offered include a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, gem mining, shelled corn play area, straw play area, moon bounce, pig racing, the Scary Fun Barn, wagon train ride and an 8 acre corn maze! $11.95 per person will get you in to enjoy all of these activities and more!
Belmont Berry and Pumpkin Farm
Route 16/North River Road in Matthew’s County
Take a scenic drive out to this farm to enjoy activities like face painting, building your own personal scarecrow (with a set of old clothes that you bring with you), painting your own pumpkin, corn mazes and more! $4 per person or $12 per family (pumpkins are extra and range anywhere from $2-$15).
Pumpkins and Family Movie Night at Tom Leonard’s Farmers Market
4150 Brookriver Dr
Tom Leonard’s boasts one of the biggest selections of locally grown pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn, as well as fall decor such as straw bales and corn stalks. Pumpkins range in price anywhere from $2 to around $8. Also, every Friday in October, they offer a free family movie night at 7 pm. This Friday, October 29th will feature (appropriately enough), “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
And here are a few fun bits of trivia about America’s favorite gourd:
- They are 90% water.
- Pumpkins are actually fruit and are a good source of potassium and vitamin A.
- In early colonial times, pumpkins were originally used for the crusts of pies, not for the pie filling themselves.
- Colonists began to slice off the tops of pumpkins and poured milk, spices and honey into the hollowed-out insides. This was then baked in hot ashes. Thus, the first idea for pumpkin pie was born.
- Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
- The Irish are to be thanked for the tradition of pumpkin carving in the US. Upon immigrating to America, they found pumpkins to be much more conducive for carving, rather than the tradition of carving turnips- which they had done up until that point.