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September 5, 2014

Day trippin’ Pumpkins & Cranberries

Photos by Aaron Lavinsky and MacLeod Pappidas
Aaron Lavinsky | The Daily World From left, Kaitlynn Wakefield and her mother Kendra Wakefield browse through the selection of pumpkins at the Shaffner Farms Pumpkin Patch on Thursday afternoon.

Aaron Lavinsky
From left, Kaitlynn Wakefield and her mother Kendra Wakefield browse through the selection of pumpkins at the Shaffner Farms Pumpkin Patch

 

Celebrate the best of fall with a trip to the pumpkin patch or cranberry farm. Either one will get you in the spirit of autumn and you’ll leave with some great produce to take home.

The hardest part of the fall has to be picking the perfect pumpkin from a field full of perfect pumpkins. Anyone can pick the perfect apple. Find an apple that looks perfect, pick it. Done.

MACLEOD PAPPIDAS | THE DAILY WORLDTreyton Lewis, 4, of Central Park chooses his gourd at a you-pick pumpkin patch at Chapman Farms outside of Montesano Thursday.

Macleod Pappidas | Lewis, 4, of Central Park chooses his gourd at a you-pick pumpkin patch at Chapman Farms outside of Montesano.

Perfect pumpkin? Definitely tougher. It should be misshapen, right? A little ugly? Check. But maybe not too ugly. Should it have those pumpkin warts on it? Ummmmmm, maybe — if it’s not too warty. And what color? White? Green with speckles? Orange for the traditionalists?

We’ve given you a lot to think about. Now we’re going to give you a couple of suggestions for your own field research.

Pumpkins FARMS

Chapman Farms
239 Brady Loop Rd., E. Montesano. Contact: Scott Chapman, 360­581­4177
U­Pick pumpkins of all sizes, squash, gourds, sweet corn and fall décor. Many varieties of sweet corn with a large corn maze and free hay maze for kids. The activities are ongoing through Oct. 31
Directions: Turn south off of Hwy. 12 at Brady Exit (across hwy. from fire hall). Turn left at “T” and go 1 and a half miles. Gravel driveway to the left.

Shaffner Farms
158 Geissler Rd., Montesano. Contact: Owen and JoAnn Shaffner, 360­249­6722
Pumpkin patch with hayrides. The patch is open through Oct. 31.
Directions: From Aberdeen eastbound Highway 12, left on west Wynoochee Rd. Go two and half miles, turn right on Geissler, one half mile. Farm is on left.
For more information, check out Shaffner Farms on Facebook:
www.facebook.com/ShaffnerFarms

For years you’ve been saying, “this Thanksgiving, we’re going to get fresh cranberries.”

So what’s stopping you? A fall drive out to the Cranberry Coast south of Grays Harbor is worth it all by itself.

The experts are expecting a good crop. The yields haven’t been that hot the past few years, but a warm spring and sunny summer means more berries. Kim Patten, who monitors the state’s cranberry industry at WSU’s Long Beach Extension office, said the region is expected to average about 100 barrels an acre, up from an average of 60 to 80 barrels in the past four years. Each barrel weighs 100 pounds. So dig out grandma’s cranberry relish recipe and start chopping.

Cranberries

Cranberries Farm Fresh
1367 Udell­Hansen Rd., Grayland. Contact: Ken Wahlheim and Paula Cook, 360­.267­.3944
Fresh cranberries available between Sept. 25 and Nov. 15. Call before Nov. 1 for orders after November.
Directions: State route 105 to Grayland. Take left at PUD substation on Udell­Hansen Rd. Last farm on the right at the end of the road.

Did you know?

Cranberries are ripe when they bounce. Small pockets of air in the cranberries cause them to bounce. The air pockets also cause them to float during harvest.

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Food, Food, Places