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October Kickoff

October in the Central Valley. It’s so deceptive. Usually it graces us with a few cooler days at the start of the month. I get excited and nostalgic. I pull out the crock pot and put on a light sweatshirt in the evening. Then–a long stretch of near 100 degree days! Hot or not, October kicks off a season of wonderful madness for our family. Birthdays galore, fall festivities, and the intro to the holiday season. Single Palm, our favorite pumpkin patch, opened October 1st and we headed out in t shirts and shorts to pick up our October staple-pumpkins!! Ethan got to work manning the wheelbarrow and Rowan got to work getting dirty. He was literally pouring dirt into his shoe within 5 minutes of hitting the field. C’est la vie. 

A few reasons why we love Single Palm:

It’s a cut-your-pumpkin-off-the-vine patch. Ethan loves being a part of every step–pushing the wheelbarrows, searching for his perfect pumpkin, cutting it, and washing it. Rowan loves the dirt.

When you arrive, you are greeted by the family who owns and operates the farm. They are a part of the experience from start to end–Grandpa drove the tractor for the hay ride. Gramma led a story time. The owner’s son is near Ethan’s age. He ran out to meet us while we were searching for pumpkins and he and Ethan were immediate friends.

Every pumpkin-big or small-is 5 bucks! You like little pumpkins? Huge pumpkins? Green ones? Round or oval ones? They’re all $5.

It is very low key. I love low key. No crowds, no carnival rides, no kettle corn, no huge inflatables flagging me down to come buy cotton candy and glow sticks in addition to my pumpkin.  The farm, the house, the porch, the rocking chairs–low key bliss.

Here we catch a glimpse of the effects of California’s drought. The corn maze was too difficult to grow this year due to the lack of water. It was replaced by a box maze. My boys didn’t seem to mind at all.

My Ethan is growing up, no doubt. He helped Gramma Pumpkin read the story this year.

Rowan stayed true to the grumpy show that he loves to put on. I’m telling you, he’s completely acting half of the time that he seems grumpy. But this child loves music and songs. In the car he will ask for songs to be put on and proclaim multiple times, “I love music!”  The pic below on the right is when we sang Old McDonald after the story. He couldn’t not sing along and smile.

Last year we came near the end of October and it was slim picking to find that perfect-for-you pumpkin. This year we had thousands to choose from. And we chose big! 2 of our pumpkins were 27 pounds each. The rest were right around 20 pounds. 6 pumpkins-135 pounds total! Ethan insisted on lifting the pumpkins himself into the basket for the scale. Watching him struggle with such determination to hoist those pumpkins was the kind of stuff that melts a mamas heart.  He is so little, yet so big. 

The owner has a favorite pumpkin that he singles out each year. There are over 10,000 pumpkins that will be cut from those vines, and I picked his favorite one on the first day they opened! He and Nick are holding his (now my) baby below. 

Rowan’s favorite part was definitely the pumpkin wash. It took every ounce of 2-year-old self control he had to not get into that tub, especially because I called it a pumpkin bath. He was dirty and ready to jump in!

We had a great kickoff to October!

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