Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Search of the Great Pumpkin

This has been a really rough year for the farmers in Metro Vancouver.  Rain has rendered many of the annual crops mush.  Even our back patio harvest was pathetic this year, each veggie more rotten than the next.  It's a shame, but part of the yearly cycle for those who chose to eke their living from the good Earth.

The more resilient farm folk turn to other, more creative ways to make ends meet; something to hold things together when the crops fail to produce.  Agri-tourism is becoming increasingly important to the farming community.  Whether it be a simple gift shop, cooking classes or a corn maze, getting the folk to come and see what happens on the farm also helps the farmers earn some additional income, and has the extra benefit of promoting the real job of growing things.

This week, my son and I wandered over to the Laity Pumpkin Patch.  These folk have been selling pumpkins to jack-o-lantern aficionados for 20 years now, and they've become quite good at it.  They understand that going to pick up a pumpkin isn't just about shopping for the biggest, orange-est gourd you can find.  It's about a trip to the country to visit the animals, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and tour around on a good old hay-ride.

There is an admission fee ($3 for those over 2 years old) but that includes all activities, including the corn maze.  There's a small petting zoo and an "Enchanted Forest", but the real attraction for even the youngest visitor is finding the perfect pumpkin.  There's no shortage of selection, and if you're feeling like grabbing a lot of pumpkins the farm even provides wheel-barrows.

This is the last weekend for the pumpkin farm so be sure to get out there before the trick-or-treaters come knockin'.  They're open daily from 9:30 to 5:00 weather permitting.  (Translation:  phone first if it's raining.)

Laity Pumpkin Patch
21145 128th Avenue
Maple Ridge, BC

Phone: (604) 467-4302


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