With Halloween nearing, everyone is scrambling for pumpkins, and most people won’t settle for just ordinary pumpkins. They have to be big enough to carve and have a flat face for optimal visibility from all angles. And, being in college, most of us don’t have a lot figured into our budget for pumpkin expenses. So where does one go to find perfectly shaped pumpkins for fair prices?
I searched for different pumpkin patches near Columbia and was disappointed with the selection. Most nearby pumpkin patches are pretty sad. They don’t have mazes or hayrides, and some of them don’t have patches at all. They have stores where one can purchase pumpkins, but where’s the fun in that?
After visiting Pick and Pick, a small pumpkin patch located at 5910 South Rangeline Road, I was greeted by a woman who said all of her pumpkins had been picked over and the rest were rotten. It seemed too early in the fall season for all of the pumpkins to be gone, so I asked her if she knew of any other places. She recommended I visit Peach Tree Farm located at 24863 Hwy 98.
I couldn’t believe I had overlooked Peach Tree during my initial search. It was huge compared to Pick and Pick. They had animals for feeding, a hayride around the farm, a small straw maze for children and pumpkins, gourds and squash for sale.
Admission is $5, which covers the hayride, and an average-sized pumpkin by their standards, which is an additional $10. However, they had all different sizes of pumpkins. Some were big enough to sit on comfortably.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the owner. She collected the $5 admission and explained how much the pumpkins cost, where the hayride started, where I could get food for the animals and that I could either chose a pumpkin that had already been picked, or I could pick my own.
While looking for pumpkins, I found my way to a large tank that held the biggest catfish I have ever seen. There were three total, and they were all significantly larger than the average catfish caught in the wild. Seeing the fish alone made the trip worthwhile.
As far as already picked pumpkins, there were endless possibilities. Gray, white, green and traditional orange pumpkins were scattered in clusters around the farm. They ranged in size from small enough to fit in one’s hand to large enough for a grown man to sit on. The pumpkins also had different textures: bumpy, rough, smooth or glossy.
The patches also had a large variety, but I chose a pumpkin that had already been cut because it was cleaner and less lopsided than the ones laying in the patches. I carried the pumpkin to where the owner was sitting in a lawn chair under a shade tree. To determine the price of my pumpkin she sat it next to her $10 sample. Mine was smaller, so she decided it should cost $7.
The entire visit cost $12, a pretty fair price for all they have to offer. I had a great experience at Peach Tree Farm and will go back next year. I recommend it for anyone who wants to pick a pumpkin and enjoys a great fall atmosphere.