Nostalgia plus children equals a constant search to replicate the hallmark experiences of one’s childhood.
Going to a farm stand to buy pumpkins isn’t even a childhood memory, for me; it began the autumn of my senior year in high school, when I and the other double-bass player from orchestra class drove out to the local farm stand to have an Autumn Experience. That place really catered. You took a hayride out to the patch, picked your pumpkins, took a hayride back, then dallied the rest of the afternoon away in corn mazes, cider, decorative gourds, and all that good stuff.
No place I’ve lived since has anything as good. The place we just moved from had rather a nice one, definitely the runner-up: an apple orchard that also had a pumpkin patch. They kept hundreds of red Radio Flyer wagons to cart children and/or garden produce around, there were goats to feed, and one heck of a playground.
The pictures above are my first stab at finding something in our new home. It’s an honest-to-goodness farm. You can sign up for CSA boxes in the summer, and they offer educational tours of the paddocks and poly-tunnels if you schedule ahead. If you don’t schedule ahead, as we didn’t, you can greet the animals through the fences and choose a pre-picked pumpkin.
Better than nothing, but I’m betting there’s something better yet out there. I just have to find it.