Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patches and General What's Up

A Trip to Hickory Nut Gap Farm

Our Quest for Pumpkins

"The gilding of the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide. 
   The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but were yet full of leaf. 
   The purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills...
   Fieldhead gardens bore the seal of gentle decay; ... its time of
  flowers and even of fruit was over."
  - Charlotte Brontë  

We had a successful adventure to the pumpkin patch. Our visit to Hickory Nut Gap Farm left us wanting to make it a yearly tradition.  The farm is nestled in the mountains in Fairview, North Carolina, a pleasant drive fifteen minutes outside Asheville.  Admissions is $5 for kids (two & under free) and $7 for adults.  No admission if you are just visiting the farm store.  If you live in the area, you might want to consider a season pass.  The farm is very kid friendly. 

We saw a variety of farm creatures including horses, pigs, baby chicks, goats, turkeys, and bees.  My little one was very enamored with the farm animals.  As we visited with the animals, we could read various facts about them.  As we were saying hi to the pigs, one feasted on a pumpkin with no knowledge of its own intelligence (4th smartest according to the sign).

Further up the path from the pigs and horses, Little Guy wanted to check out the baby chicks.  He kept saying he wanted to go into the coop.  We have chickens here at home and he didn't quite understand why he had to stay out.  He got the coop door open pretty quickly, but luckily no chicks escaped.  He was easily distracted when he noticed new things up the path.

There was a HUGE tire swing sitting by a creek.  Across from the tire swing there was a GIGANTIC barn with tons of fun activities for kids.  We played on the swing for a bit and then moseyed on over to the barn to check out some more animals; calves, goats and turkeys, oh my!  Once the wee one was finished playing with the animals he discovered the mountain of hay.  Climbing to the top, you found a rope you could hold onto and  swing, letting you fly into a pile of soft hay.  My favorite activity in the barn was the TRIKES!  It was like being on my big wheels when I was a kid.  They have a couple for adults and I think five or six for the kiddos.  Lil Guy was scooting around even if his legs weren't quite long enough to pedal.  Next year we will be racing each other for sure.

We continued up the hill to the pumpkin patch.  We brought our wagon and I have to say I was thankful for it.  It would not be easy to lug around  a few pumpkins, wrangle a toddler and keep moving in a forward-like direction.  The beauty of Hickory Nut Gap Farm envelopes you as you meander around the paths, searching out the perfect pumpkin.  It felt magical being wrapped up in all the autumn colors with the mountains as a backdrop.  I was worried there wouldn't be pumpkins left, but it turns out that wasn't a problem at all; it was harder to pick the perfect one from the dozens in the patch.  Hah!  Eventually all three of us decided on our pumpkins.  As we navigated the wagon of pumpkins and our toddler town the hill, I envisioned pumpkin carving and seeds roasting.

With all the merriment that was had, we still didn't visit the maze or explore the nature path.  They also have an u-pick orchard in progress.  Once berry season hits, I would like to visit their u-pick berry section on the farm that they have.  Looks like a fun farm destination throughout the year. 


What's going on this week?

With the cooler weather approaching, we are going to finish setting up the cold frame on one of our raised beds.  Lettuces, arugula, spinach, sugar snap peas, 1 leek, beets, 2 carrots and broccoli slowly growing. Maybe more carrots will pop up?  Animals scratched up the carrot seeds. Also need to get three potato towers set up and nestled in before the chill falls upon us.  Excited about the prospect of spring potatoes.  Not as much sewing planned this week, bedding down for the coming winter.  I will however be working on costume's for Zac & me.  Stay tuned for fun Halloween pictures.

With all this talk about cold weather and a Small Measure (blog I find inspirational) post, it made me realize I need to dig out all of the cold weather layers.  Luckily last year, I bought everything on the big size and looks like it will fit the wee one this year with a lil' room to grow.  Yay!  I love it when things work out like that.  Next post will be about toddler outdoor gear and what I love.  Lemme tell ya, I am kind of a big dork about that kind of stuff.  Under woolies just happen to fall into that category, so pictures of the one's I made from the Merino wool jersey I dyed for the wee one to be included.  Stay craftastik!

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