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Fall Farm Fun

By posted by Judi Gerber
9/17/2012 2:33:21 PM

The leaves changing color and the air starting to cool are just a couple of ways that signal that fall is in full swing. Since I am a farm writer, what really gets me in the fall spirit are the seasonal activities that center around farming and food.

Fall brings corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking and harvest festivals.

I also can’t help but think about the importance of agriculture to fall holidays. Think about it, Halloween and Thanksgiving are literally centered on agriculture. Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without pumpkins, and aside from the turkey, Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the harvest and focusing on autumn’s bounty and sharing it with friends and family.

As I wrote about this summer, agritourism is one of the best ways to help save our farmland, and pick-your-own apples and pumpkin patches are two of the most popular agritourism activities.

While you can easily visit a local pumpkin lot at your nearest corner parking lot, if you live in or near an area where you can actually visit a farm, you will not only get a great day of entertainment, but you will be helping to support a local farmer and the local economy.

Many pumpkin farms also have corn mazes, hayrides and even harvest festivals and activities. To find individual pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, or other harvest festivals, check out Pumpkin Patches and More which features listings by state and several countries including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Another of my favorite autumn activities is going apple picking at a local farm or ranch. Not only do you get fresh apples, but many farms also sell fresh baked apple goods and jams and jellies and preserves. Check out Pick Your Own to find one near you.

There are also plenty of apple festivals going on across the United States and Canada, check this University of Illinois Extension site to find one near you.

One of the most unusual and entertaining farm activities is a corn maze. This is a maze that has been cut out of a cornfield. Usually you will find a corn maze as part of other farm attractions including hay rides, a petting farm and of course, a pumpkin patch. They are great for kids and many also include children’s play areas. To find a maze near you, check out The Maize.

You can also find corn mazes, apple and pumpkin farm listings at Local Harvest.

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

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