Monday, October 27, 2014

Not Your Ordinary Pumpkin Patch!!!

Before we take a trip to Hunter Farms Pumpkin Patch, I want to sing a little ditty for a good friend!!

HaPPy BiRthDaY To YoU !!
HApPy BiRThdAY To YoU !!


What better way to spend a day than at a Pumpkin Patch ... and this one in particular, set up by my friend Will Hunter and his son, is one of the most fun for the kids.  They grow almonds, donating tons every year to our soldiers overseas.  This is what they do for the kids in our area on Halloween!!
This is what you see upon arrival, along with thousands of pumpkins for sale .. CHEAP.  If you look REALLY close, at the far right under the wagon, Kitty has made the best nest for sleeping EVER!!  There are market umbrellas everywhere for shade, but the weather has been cool enough to not need them.
Here's a close up of Kitty ... snoozing away while hundreds of kids pass by.  It's probably a good thing they don't see him!
This used to be an old dairy.  They kept the barn and outbuildings, along with all the concrete slabs and pipe corrals.  Perfect for stacking hay, on which hundreds of home grown pumpkins sit, just waiting to be picked.  Here's Will on this year's new "ride".  He went to Army Surplus and bought six trailers ... like the ones used to carry your luggage at the airport.  Then he built cars on top to make a train that he pulls around the corn field.  As you can see, there are beautiful flowers everywhere!!
It's so popular, he had to set up a hay barrier waiting line.  Although they do charge a nominal fee for a wrist band ... ride all you want ... Will doesn't do this for the money.  He does it for the kids.  During the week, local schools bring the children out by the busload to experience the entire farm!!
This year they grew more varieties of pumpkins than I knew existed!!  Cinderellas on the right, Warts in the middle and some weird gray/green variety I've never seen before ... just to name a few.  
Ooops ... sorry, the photographer jumped out of the bushes as we were going through the 10 foot tall corn to the petting zoo.  There is another lovely old building in the back with picnic tables so you can have lunch.  There is also a Knights-In-Shining-Armor stage, complete with castle, for the kids to play on.
More Warts ... these are so unique ... I LOVE them!!  And they come in many wonderful colors!!  Who knew there were so many cool pumpkins!!  
At Will's insistence, I jumped on the train ride and we headed out through the corn.  The stalks had to be 10-12 foot tall ... and making that lovely sound when they blow in the breeze.  The first scene we came upon was a Gold Mine ... yup, right here in the middle of California was a Gold Mine, a miner, his dog, a running sluice box, two ponds and a cabin.  On top of the entrance to the mine was a coyote!!  The kids went wild!!  The next circle brought us to the Indian village!  I'd sure love to have this teepee in MY backyard!!  Here there was even a waterfall with a cougar perched on top, deer, turkeys and a snarling wolf hiding in the corn!!  The kids screamed again!!!
THEN ... we came to the D I N O S A U R S!!!!  Two velociraptors fought over the T-Rex nest of eggs, one just hatching, as "MOM" got ready to snatch them up.  The kids went crazy wild, screaming and laughing!!  I couldn't get more images because of them jumping up and down as we cruised by.  This is totally a labor of love for Will ... there's well over $50,000 worth of dinos here ... I know because I checked out their source.  I thought they might be a nice addition to my back yard!!!  You don't think so????  I guess I'm just a big kid!!
Every kid that jumped off that ride at the end, wanted back on ... and most did ride it again!!  I forgot to mention the "real" hay ride ... sitting on bales of hay in the back of a big wagon as they ride through another corn field ... and the corn maze you can walk through, not to mention the pyramid of hay 20 feet high that the kids can climb all over.  More unique pumpkins ... or maybe gourds, these green Swans are used as water vessels in Mexico.  I bought one to see if it will dry on it's own and make a musical instrument.  Plus they have regular old pumpkins in every size you could ever want.  From three inches to thirty inches, they sell for cheaper than reasonable prices.
Here's one the kids love ... as you walk down to the petting zoo, you must pass under this CAT excavator boom.  It's set up so the kids can climb in and play equipment operator.  It's also in the perfect location ... next to the power lines, where they place feed for the blackbirds.  With the exception of the dinosaurs, this is the scariest there is ... but creepy none the less.  As you walk by, the birds all squawk!!!
There are lots of photo opportunities for you and your kids, including this old Ford flatbed truck and an old tractor to climb on.  There was a big line of moms posing their kids while dad took the photos!!  What a GREAT place to spend the day.  You can also bring along your picnic basket for lunch at one of the many picnic tables set up throughout the farm.  You can even schedule PARTIES here ... birthday parties, pumpkin carving parties, any kind of party you want can be held in the back of the barn, separated by the pipe fencing (sorry, no beer parties).  There were actually two going on while I was there and the kids were having a ball!!
Every year THIS pumpkin patch is bigger and better than the last.  I can't wait to see what they have in store for next year!!  Kudos to Will and his son for making so many kids happy for pittance in their pockets.  I bought $50.00 worth of pumpkins just to help out, and gave half of them away!!  Here's the rest just hanging in my wagon!!!  That was so much fun I think I'll go back again today!!

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