Samhain’s just around the corner!

Picking pumpkins at Thistledown Farms

And it’s time to get ready!  One of my favorite Samhain prep activities is picking pumpkins.  I love being able to go out to the fields, look at all the orchards and the farms, at all the bounty coming in, and everything that goes along with it.  I love the sights, the smells, the weather…rain, sun, snow, it’s all good for me!

Ever since I moved to Eugene, I’ve been going to Thistledown Farm just up north in Junction City for my pumpkin picking.  They really play it up.  In addition to letting the public into their field to pick a pumpkin, they set up corn and hay mazes for kids and grown ups, and most years they offer draft horse hay rides out to the pumpkin patch.  (It’s weather and staff permitting; some years they have to use a tractor and limit the days they can offer rides.)

I went there today, and–for the very first time–I went alone.  Usually I’m trying to keep my group together and keep us all from getting too crazy at Thistledown  (cider and doughnuts even make adults hyper).  This time, I had a grand time just relaxing in the sun and taking in the smells of hay, turned earth, manure, dry leaves, and fallen apples as the horses plodded out to the field and listening to the chatter of very excited kids (Look!  A tomato!  Why don’t we carve tomatoes!  Let’s carve a tomato!  No, let’s carve watermelons!  No, we can’t carve watermelons…those are seasonal and in the summer, Billy!  Nuh-uh, Sarah!)  It was great.  I really understood the concept of the last harvest, of the end of the year, of taking a break, and just beginning the preparations for next year’s planting.

Fun, fun times.

Draft horses on their way back to Thistledown. And Billy.

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