This Season’s Harvest Happenings

Bright orange pumpkins as far as you can see!—the earthy smell, the rustling vines—choosing one’s own best pumpkin from a pumpkin patch is a rich experience for a child. For youngsters who aren’t aware of the food and farm connection, such a sensory experience really brings that home. Meeting the farmers can also be memorable; they may offer a taste of freshly pressed cider (or pom juice). There may be fruit to pluck from a tree. During your momentous pumpkin patch expedition, look at the gourds in all their crazy shapes and colors—some look quite ghostly! There are Cinderella pumpkins, too. Try making soup, or cake, with a kabocha squash. And whatever you do with your pumpkin, don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds – some to roast; some for a garden next year. Gather friends and family for a satisfying fall adventure: it’s time to check out your area’s annual Harvest Happenings. Our Going Places section also lists a plethora of October events.

Celebrate the season’s harvest with Maisie Jane’s Pun’kin Patch Corner! Pick your favorite pumpkin right off the vine; choose from more than 10 varieties including giant, blue, white, terra-cotta and traditional jack-o-lantern. Receive a free bag of Maisie Jane’s famous almonds and a gift basket drawing entry with pumpkin purchase. Climb the hay tower, paint pumpkins and play all sorts of fun, agriculture games. Open Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm beginning October 7. Open for field trips Monday-Friday. Call to book! Admission is free. Located at 3763 Hegan Ln, Chico. (530) 899-7909;

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 neighboring farms. Taste freshly picked apple varieties such as Somerset, Granny Smith and Fuji. Twenty varieties of pumpkins (weighing up to 100 pounds) and an array of produce are also available. Visit 11am-3pm October 1 for the 11th annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring live music with the Main Street Band, local vendors, face painting, a giant hay mountain, and pumpkins! Open 8am-6pm daily in October. Info: (530) 354-4775. 

Visit Country Pumpkins in Orland! Open October 1-31 at 7152 Highway 32, east of Orland between Road P and Stony Creek; look for signs. See interesting gourds and five acres of pumpkins in 21 varieties. Walk the 10-acre corn maze during the day 10am-5pm ($3) to benefit 4-H programs and other local non-profits. Attractions include a hay pyramid, hay slide, baby animals, observation bee hive and more. Get spooked at six haunted maze nights: October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 ($10). Info:

The Book Family Farm Pumpkin Patch is open to the public throughout October! Tuesday-Saturday 9am-6pm. It’s a Tradition! Come and experience and enjoy the atmosphere of an old fashioned family farm. Pull up a bale of hay and watch the antics of Bossie, Coco & Hazel the cows, Lucy & Ethel the calves, Clarence & Annabelle the Goats, Henny Penny the chicken and all 107 of her friends. Pick your own pumpkins, winter squash and natural fall decorations. Lots of varieties to choose from. Most of all, take the time to savor the harvest season! Also available are Fun Educational Field trips. 153 Heavy Horse Ln, Durham; (530) 342-4375. For the latest info, go to:

Experience Hillside Poms’ Fall Harvest this year–put a little pom in your day! Enjoy a wonderful, unique family outing at Hillside Poms. Bring the kids, pick some poms, and have fun squeezing juice with the pomegranate juicer–the kids just love it! The pomegranates are organic and 100% chemical free. Info: Eric and Suzanne Wunsch, 1271 Capay Rd, Corning. (530) 228-3050;

Celebrate autumn at the Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham. Take a glimpse back in time while enjoying newer traditions at the 5th annual Autumn Fest held 10am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays from October 1-22 at 10381 Midway. Features include ranch and farm-house tours, hay rides, a pumpkin patch, pony cart rides and a bee exhibit. Enjoy different events and activities each weekend. And remember to visit Saturday, October 14 for: Kids’ Farm Day, A Fun Harvest Event. North State Parent magazine is celebrating its 24th anniversary! Enjoy free goodie bags with great local stuff for the first 50 families, Ron’s Reptiles, Buttercup the milking cow and Tulip the donkey, stick horse making (while supplies last), a race at noon and fun and creative hands-on projects. Learn about worms, seeds and life on an old working ranch. Interesting services and products and fun for the whole family!  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. School classroom tours available. Call to reserve your spot. Info: (530) 342-4359.

Historic Hawes Farms is located at the intersection of Dersch and Deschutes Roads in Anderson and has acres of family fun. Don’t miss the giant 17-acre, U-pick pumpkin patch featuring more than 50 pumpkin and gourd varieties. Really fun attractions include bumper cars, go-karts, zip lines, kiddie play areas, a pumpkin blaster, gemstone mining, roller coaster, mechanical bull, pony rides, stagecoach rides, haunted attractions, a six-acre daytime corn maze and much more. Something for all ages! There is fun and food for everyone with many special events to look forward to. This year’s theme at Hawes Farms is “No more domestic abuse!” with a special BBQ event September 30. Open weekends and Saturdays, September 30-October 29. Check the website for exact details. Info: (530) 365-8488;

Johnny Appleseed Days in Butte County is California’s oldest harvest festival and a local family tradition celebrating Paradise’s apple heritage. This year marks the festival’s 129th anniversary, with two full days of fun, featuring children’s games, face painting, live entertainment and artisan vendors. “Johnny Appleseed” will visit and share stories in the children’s area, and more than 1,000 apple pies will once again be lovingly made by enthusiastic volunteer bakers and available for purchase—whole or by the slice. The festival takes place Saturday, October 7, 10am-5pm and Sunday, October 8, 10am-4pm at Terry Ashe Park, 6626 Skyway. Admission is free. Info:
(530) 877-9356;

Sample delectable local foods and wines at the 12th annual Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend in and around Butte County on October 7 and 8 (Columbus Day weekend). Whether it’s just the two of you or a family educational adventure, you will visit up to 34 specialty farms, orchards and wineries on this self-guided tour through scenic country, experiencing the region’s bountiful farm-fresh foods and wines and meeting local farmers and winemakers. Passport tickets are available at the Chico Chamber office (530) 891-5556; early purchase is recommended. Tickets are $30 in advance; $35 at the event, subject to availability. Info:

Hunter Orchards is located in the foothills of Mt. Shasta in central Siskiyou County, just west of I-5. The farm is a favorite fall adventure for North State families, with three acres of U-pick organic pumpkins, a children’s hay maze, and a picnic area (bring a blanket). Their open-air store features certified organic wares such as jams, fresh cider, “seriously good” winter squashes, gourds, lavender, apples and pears, and decorative corn. Open 10am-6pm daily October 1-31 at 14431 Old Westside Rd. in Grenada. Look for and follow the pumpkin signs. Tours for large groups are offered by appointment. Info: (530) 436-2532;

Join this celebration of apples with locally grown apples, apple themed products, and apple pies at the 25th annual Manton Apple Festival, Saturday, October 7, 9am-4pm at Manton Elementary School. Enter the apple pie baking contest, (junior and adult divisions), with celebrity judges and cash prizes. Or, try the apple pie eating contest! The festival features art, craft and food booths, live music and a variety of family entertainment events throughout the day. Festival proceeds support community projects and educational scholarships for Manton area students. Admission and parking are free. Please, no pets or smoking. Info: (530) 474-4709; 31345 Forward Rd.; www.

Come and enjoy the 3rd Annual Apple Harvest Festival in McCloud, October 14, 10am-6pm on Main Street. Come for the scarecrow building contest, live music and artisan craft vendors. Enter your own fresh homemade apple pie in the Apple Pie Contest. You could wrap up the day with a very special Harvest Dinner brought to you by Old Mill Distillery (served at 6pm, $15 per person; tickets available at McCloud Chamber, McCloud Meat Market & Tavern, McCloud Mercantile, and Old Mill Distillery); and then dance to live music, 7-11pm, at 424 Main Street. Info: (530) 964-3113; Click on the big apple.

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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