We kicked off Autumn with a trip to the local pumpkin patch last week. We tailgated dinner in the back seat of the truck (chicken strips and bagged salad mix from the grocery store) and then went inside to start the fun.
The Boy and I have been to this pumpkin patch previously, one with his preschool, twice with his school and once with Grandma.
On his preschool field trip
2009, with my nephew
2010, school field trip
It's a real family-run business, with the mom running the school activities (like showing how a pumpkin grows from a seed) and the dad operating and narrating the dairy tour. On this evening, one of the preteen sons was relocating some picnic tables on a trailer bed and another son was running the snack bar.
This was The Girl's and my husband's first trip to the real pumpkin patch. I think The Girl's prior knowledge of a pumpkin patch was of the crappy, overpriced version in the mall parking lot with tiny pumpkins for $10, carnival rides and hay thrown on the blacktop.
The Boy avoided the live animals this time but The Girl was brave enough to enter the goat pen. The baby goat was only about 2 months old and tiny enough to squeeze himself out of the gate, so the farm kids were constantly putting him back inside the pen during our visit.
I love how she is nervously ignoring the goat right behind her
My husband took the kids out on the "hay ride" and I was smart enough to remember all the unpleasant smells of the farm from the first and only time I'd taken this dairy tour and I stayed put on a bench. The Girl came back with a very displeased look on her face and my husband admitted that when she got a sniff of the combination of raw milk and manure she told him, "I'm going to throw up". Fortunately she didn't!
My husband did say that a baby calf had been born about two hours earlier and they got to see the calf and mama together. He said the mama was still cleaning off her baby, oblivious to the fact that her placenta was dangling out of her body...ewww!
Their favorite part was the popular cottonseed mountain, a huge pile of cottonseed and sleds for them to slide down on. By the time we got them out of there they were covered in fluff!
They each got to pick a pumpkin from the patch before we left and we headed home for showers to wash off the dust and cotton, full of fun memories of another year at the patch. Looking forward to bringing the new family member next year!