This Season’s Harvest Happenings

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Autumn is here and it’s time to begin or continue a traditional visit to harvest events in our region. Pumpkins, colorful gourds and winter squash all provide a cornucopia of colors and flavors, and visiting a farm or taking part in other autumn activities with your family is fun! In addition to these listings, be sure to look through our Going Places events calendar for even more exciting October events.

Celebrating its 127th anniversary, Butte County’s Johnny Appleseed Days in Paradise is the oldest harvest festival in the state and a family tradition celebrating local apple history. Two days of fun include children’s games, face painting, live entertainment, and items a from variety of artisans. Johnny Appleseed will visit and share stories in the children’s area, and over 800 apple pies lovingly made by enthusiastic volunteer bakers will be available for purchase, whole or by the slice. The festival is held October 3rd, from 10am-5pm, and October 4th, from 10am-4pm, at Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway. Admission is free. Info: http://www.paradisechamber.com/
johnny-appleseed-days; (530) 877-9356.

art-1015-harvest-happenings-mapMax’s Miracle Ranch Pumpkin Patch in Butte County offers vintage train rides ($3), a petting zoo, face painting ($1), pony rides ($5), u-pick in-the-field pumpkins ($2 & up), apples, pears, pomegranates and persimmons, hay wagon rides, gold panning, a scarecrow contest, a snack shack and school field trips. Funds raised at Miracle Ranch benefit Max’s Miracles. Open daily through October 31st, from 9am-6pm. Free entry. 3476 Smith Ave. in Biggs. Info: http://www.maxsmiracles.org; (530) 354-7168.

Celebrate the season’s harvest with Maisie Jane’s Pun’kin Patch Corner! Pick your favorite pumpkin right off the vine, choosing from over 10 varieties including giant, blue, white, terra-cotta, and traditional jack-o-lantern varieties! Receive a free bag of Maisie Jane’s famous almonds and gift basket drawing entry with pumpkin purchase! Meet Queenie the pony, paint pumpkins, and play all sorts of fun agriculture games. Open daily in October, weekdays from 9am until dusk, and Saturdays & Sundays from noon until dusk. Admission is free. 3764 Hegan Lane. Info:
http://www.maisiejanes.com; (530) 899-7909.

Experience farm life! Throughout October, Butte County’s Book Family Farm offers farm tours plus a pumpkin patch featuring pumpkins in an array of sizes, colors and varieties. Gather eggs and feed chickens, help give the pigs a bath (they love it!), and meet horses. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a child-friendly area where kids can play. Pumpkin picking happens Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-6pm, and public tours are Saturdays at 10am and noon. Private and school group tours are available on weekdays, call to schedule. Located at 153 Heavy Horse Lane in Durham. Info: http://www.bookfamilyfarm.net; bookfamilyfarm@gmail.com.

Driving on Highway 99 near Los Molinos amid beautiful orchards, you will find a special place called Julia’s Fruit Stand. The hard-working Brandt family offers fantastic fresh fruits and produce grown on their family farm and the farms of neighbors. With their children at their side, Kathy and James Brandt share the bounty of the season’s harvest with you. Taste fresh-picked apple varieties like Somerset, Granny Smith and Fuji. Pumpkins weighing up to 100 pounds and an array of produce is available, including Purple Russian and Mr. Stripy tomatoes. Join them October 4th, 11am-3pm, for their Annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring live music by country sensation Chad Bushnell, local vendors, face painting, and of course, pumpkins!  It’s affordable fun for the whole family. Open 8am-6pm daily in October. Info: (530) 354-4775.

For authentic country fun visit the 18th annual Dairyville Orchard Festival in Los Molinos on October 17th, from 10am-4pm. Sample and purchase fresh, locally grown walnuts, almonds, pistachios & pecans, the festival’s famous chocolate-covered prunes, olives, tri-tip BBQ and other delicious food, and much more! Enjoy live entertainment, children’s activities and a Lil’ Farmers’ Corner, arts and crafts from over 60 vendors, antique farming equipment displays, a diaper derby at noon, and a giant-pumpkin contest. Find treasures at a silent auction; to date the festival has raised and awarded over $179,400 in scholarship monies. Free admission. Located at Lassen View Elementary School, Highway 99E. Info:  http://www.dairyvillefestival.org.

Visit Country Pumpkins in Orland! Open daily October 1st – 31st, from10am-6pm. Features interesting gourds and 21 varieties of pumpkins. Walk their 10-acre corn maze during the day, 10am-5pm, for just $3 to benefit 4-H programs. Attractions include a hay pyramid, corn tire, hay slide, baby animals, an observation bee hive, and more. Get spooked at six haunted maze nights: October 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 30th ($10 entry), or visit on family nights, October 2nd & 3rd, for a non-spooky night time maze experience ($5). Free admission and parking. Easy-to-find location at 7152 Highway 32, east of Orland between Road P and Stony Creek; look for signs. Info: http://www.countrypumpkins.net.

At TJ Farms in Chico, families enjoy the farm’s popular u-pick pumpkin patch (featuring 16 pumpkin varieties) & u-pick veggie garden, a hay-bale obstacle course, picnic area, pumpkin-decorated barn, and old-fashioned corn shellers & grinders. Feed and pet farm animals and have your picture taken on an old farm tractor. Weekends additionally offer hay rides pulled by a vintage 1946 tractor, and a bounce house ($3 each). In the farm’s country store, sample tasty jams, vinegars, exceptional dressings and pickles. Admission is free. Open rain or shine October 3rd – 30th, weekdays from 2-6pm and weekends from 10am-6pm. Group tours available by appointment. Located at 3600 Chico Ave. Info: http://www.tjfarmsestates.com; (530) 343-2294.

Enjoy delicious samplings of local foods and wines at the 10th annual Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend taking place in and around Butte County on October 10th and 11th. Whether a romantic getaway or a family educational adventure, visit dozens of specialty farms, orchards & wineries on this self-guided tour through scenic country. It’s a wonderful way to experience the bounty of the area’s farm-fresh foods and wines and to meet local farmers and winemakers. Passport tickets are available at the Chico Chamber office; early purchase is recommended to insure your ticket, cost is $25 presale or $30 at the event. Info: http://www.sierraoro.org; (530) 891-5556.

Come celebrate everything about apples at the 23rd annual Manton Apple Festival in northeastern Tehama County on October 3rd from 9am-4pm, rain or shine. Features over 100 artisan-created art, craft & food booths, live music on two stages, kids’ arts & craft activities, carriage rides, contests and games … it’s a day of fun for the whole family! Enter the apple pie contest (junior and adult divisions) and have your pie judged by local television personalities (deliver your 9″ pie to the judges’ area by 9:30am). Free admission and parking; festival proceeds support community projects & scholarships. Please, no pets or smoking. Manton Elementary School, 31345 Forward Rd. Info: http://www.mantonapple.com; (530) 474-4709.

Located in central Siskiyou County just west of I-5 is Hunter Orchards in Gazelle. The farm is a favorite fall adventure for North State families, with three acres of of u-pick organic pumpkins, a children’s hay maze, and a picnic area (bring a blanket). Their open-air store features jams, fresh cider, unique winter squash (over 20 varieties), gourds, garlic, apples, pears and fall decorations for sale, all certified organically grown. Open daily October 1st – 31st, from 10am to 6pm. Tours for large group are offered by appointment. Located between Gazelle and Grenada at 14431 Old Westside Rd; from the south, take the Gazelle-Edgewood exit towards Gazelle and follow the pumpkin signs. Info: http://www.hunterorchards.com; (530) 436-2532.

Celebrate autumn at the Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham. Take a glimpse back in time while enjoying newer traditions at the fourth annual AutumnFest held October 3rd – 25th. The ranch is open Saturdays & Sundays from 9am-4pm. Features ranch & farm house tours, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, scarecrow contest, free children’s activities, and a country store. Enjoy different events and activities each weekend. Don’t miss the North State Parent Anniversary Celebration on October 17th, featuring Chico Community Band (1pm), Elsa from Frozen, pony carriage rides, petting zoo, donkey painting and much more! Be sure to come and see. Located at 10381 Midway. $5/adults,  $2/children 12 & under. School classroom tours available, call to reserve your spot. Info: http://www.patrickranchmuseum.org; (530) 342-4359.  

North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.

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