In Search of the Great Pumpkin (and it's not even October yet)

Elaborate pumpkin patches drive me bonkers. Hay rides! Mazes! Games! Long lines! Petting zoos. Such a production over pumpkins. I get it. The farmers are making extra cash by adding a few perks. Can't fault anyone for that. And plus my kids love it. I just want to tone it down a bit. Get back to nature. Hippie shit. So last weekend when we stayed in a small town called Rhinebeck, I was delighted to discover a pumpkin patch without all the gimmicks, like the one straight out of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Wonderland Farm has 30 acres of pumpkins ready to discover and bring home. The entrance has pumpkins for costumers to buy or they can roam the land and pick the pumpkins straight off the vine. Were some of the pumpkins rotting and filled with flies? Yes. Many actually. But that's all part of it. The patch wasn't all groomed and pristine. It was an adventure.

Since we basically had the field to ourselves, we could take our time picking out our favorites. Our only competition was another couple and their dog. And they were good. I saw the ones they were picking--warty ones, white ones, tall skinny ones, and classic round ones. They already had two wagons filled with amazing unique pumpkins and they weren't done yet. I imagined they were the owners of a 19th century bed and breakfast and were picking pumpkins to delight all their guests. I could see all their pumpkins pouring down the steps and into the lawn for the next two months. A gorgeous fall display for all to enjoy.

I paid them no mind until I saw Oscar standing guard over his newly discovered pumpkin. After searching almost the entire field, he knew this was a pumpkin worth protecting. It wasn't going to be snatch up by anyone. Not me, not Owen, and certainly not our fierce competitors over 2 acres away. The pumpkin was bright orange, had a nice thick stem, and perfectly round. One of the best I've ever seen.

"You've done good," I told him, "But there's more to see!"

We all continued to look for more and walked away, but Oscar stood still. First looking at us, then his pumpkin and then the couple who was now over 3 acres away. Back and forth. Until he finally yelled out, "Help guys! I really found the perfect pumpkin. This is it. I need to bring it to the wagon."

We were all too invested in our search to stop and help him. He continued to wait for someone to help. One foot on the pumpkin as if it was Plymouth Rock itself. Then sitting on the pumpkin like a chair. Eventually he plucked that pumpkin right off the vine and started to roll it to the wagon. Except it wasn't rolling straight and it started to get away from him.

I heard him yell, "Dad! Help! Pleeease!"

Rob ran over and helped him take it over to our wagon to be claimed as ours--forever. The end of country life for this pumpkin started right then. No more sunshine or deers or dirt or bugs or even germs thanks to the bottle of Purell Oscar poured all over it as soon as we got home. Now that it's under the care of Oscar and experiencing posh city life, it's never had it so good.

I didn't quite see it at the patch, but it is a remarkable pumpkin. It's currently sitting in the middle of my living room next to the other pumpkins we bought. Oscar's is the biggest one by far and stands out among the rest. He had reason to protect it from those ruthless bed and breakfast owners. They overlooked one of the best pumpkins in the field. And while it didn't have warts or an odd shape, it's a classic. Like out of a drawing. Or a children's book. It surely is the great pumpkin, Oscar Bees.  
presenting oscar's pumpkin--center. 
here's oscar attempting to bring his perfect pumpkin all the way to the wagon
oscar and ella are not amused. 
Keep reading to see more pictures from our pumpkin patch adventure . . .

you can see the other couple in the top right of this picture taking first dibs. 
i like this picture. putting it twice. 

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  1. i was just talking about going to a pumpkin patch this morning! now i need to find one more rustic like this, my son is much too young for all that extra shenanigans. i mean, we're all cool with cider donuts, duh.


  2. I like all of the festivities, it's the CROWDS that I'm not down with - this deserted patch looks delightful.

  3. Wow, can't believe it's pumpkin picking time already. This year has gone by so fast! Also, your kids look like they're having a blast :)

    x elizabeth of thompson & prince

  4. Well doesn't that just look picture perfect! What a fun and sexy time for you! (Arrested Development). So can I ask you a random question? Maybe you can even do a blogpost on it or something. Is Ella always the odd-one-out? I ask because we have twin boys and are considering adding to the brood and I feel like we would have to have 2 more so that poor little 3rdling wouldn't always feel left out. Is that stupid? What are your thoughts? You're probably too damn busy to answer this but thought I'd at least throw it out there. Thanks!

  5. Hippy shit can be the best!

  6. I was wondering, how far is it from the City? Can you get there by train?
    I'll be in NYC with my 8-year-old daughter for 9 days, a week before Halloween, and I thought picking a pumpkin (maybe not as perfet as Oscar's!!) would be fun. We don't have Pumpkin patches, or farm where we live. Thanks!

  7. I am of the exact same mind with the whole Pumpkin drama. I'm a nature girl, so I am totally with you and that is exactly how we did it this year once again!

    Love Rhinebeck and we go there often! xo


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