Pumpkin patch offers sights, tastes of fall -- Gazette.Net







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The autumn air was crisp and cool as Gina Mayers of Frederick eyed the collection of pumpkins in front of her.

Her sons Sean and Ryan, 3-year-old twins, ran around the pumpkin rows excitedly as Andrew, 2, waited patiently in a stroller.

They were picking out pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween, but that wasn’t the only attraction Saturday at Summers Farm in Frederick.

A few yards away, a large tractor let loose puffs of black smoke as it pulled a wagon for hayrides.

“I think the main attraction for the boys is going to be the tractors,” Mayers said.

All around them were the sights and smells of autumn.

From the bright orange of the pumpkins just waiting to be carved into jack-o-lanterns, to bins of yellow, white and green gourds of different sizes, shapes and textures, to the rich golden-brown of the straw bales that were stacked nearby, the farm was awash in autumnal flavor.

A booth near the entrance offered pies, breads, cookies, apple cider, caramel apples and apple dumplings, while the smell of kettle corn wafted through the air.

On Saturday and Sunday, the farm hosted the Maryland Pumpkin Festival, but its Harvest Festival will run through Nov. 6, said Teresa Summers Greenwood, who owns the farm with her husband, Jeff.

It’s the 16th year they’ve held the event, but during the rest of the year the 100-acre property is working farm, Greenwood said.

Greenwood said that when the festival is over, they’ll begin planting wheat and other crops.

“We want people to come out and experience a real farm,” she said.

The farm boasts a 13-acre corn maze, face painting, slides, and farm animals, including goats, donkeys, miniature horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens and pigs.

There was also a display where kids could learn facts about pumpkins. For the record, the orange, round member of the cucurbit family is a fruit, and made up of about 90 percent water.

The farm’s pumpkin patch was an attraction for the event, said Forrest Poole, who brought his three children from Vienna, Va., Saturday.

“They haven’t seen a pumpkin patch that big,” he said.

They planned to take a pumpkin or two home, although Poole said the kids ages 3,2 and 6 months hadn’t quite grasped the concept of how to turn a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern.

Pat Leone lives in Middle River, and said he’d come with his wife, their son and his girlfriend and Leone’s six granddaughters, who range in age from a year to 19 years old.

Leone said the said the event was worth the drive.

“I think it’s pretty fun,” he said. “The kids are having a blast.”