Since this was baby girls first Halloween, I wanted to make sure the traditional picking out of pumpkins was a special one. Yes, yes, I know that she is but a wee thing, and won’t be picking out her own pumpkin and blah blah blah… BUT! It’s oh so important to start family traditions out right. And this is a family tradition we want to stick. Not to mention, my beautiful best friend Shauna was visiting us from California and just picking up pumpkins to carve from the grocery store just wouldn’t do. So!
I did some rummaging around the ol’ Google machine for some local pumpkin patches. Apparently, Pensacola’s idea of a patch of pumpkins consists of carting a bunch of tiny gourds to a church parking lot and charging ungodly amounts of cash for them. (Who has two thumbs, was raised in an agricultural community and has been spoiled for fresh produce and country hijinks? THIS GIRL!)
After asking among the Emerald Coast Crunchy Moms on Facebook, I finally found Holland Farms in Milton, Florida. This place is a peanut farm that has a genuine pick your pumpkin from the patch field. Here’s our visit in photos!
First, this is my best friend Shauna! We worked together at Disneyland, were roommates, and we were the maid of honors at each others weddings! She’s amazing and filled with happiness and pixie dust. While I was unable to convince her to move out to Pensacola with me, I was somehow able to persuade her to come and visit for a week!
I’ve been to plenty of farms in my day, being raised in the Central Valley of California and all. That’s pretty much cow and crop country. But I’ve never been to a southern farm. Or a peanut farm. So a southern peanut farm was quite the treat. The laid back, down home, leisurely quality of the place was relaxing and fun. We took some cutesy photos on the front porch rocking chairs before embarking on our journey. See? I am particularly smitten with the photos of my handsome husband and beautiful baby girl.
Once we paid for our wrist bands, (which covered the hayride to the pumpkin patch, one pumpkin per person, a corn maze and access to tons of other things that would have been awesome were we all five – corn kernel playpen, miniature zip line, swings, petting zoo, etc.) they handed us a cup of boiled peanuts and sent us on our way. Now, I’ve never had boiled peanuts before. And we spent a good 15 minutes or so eating our cups of mushy legumes and trying to decide if they were delicious or disgusting. After finishing off the lot of them, we still don’t know.
Since we were at a peanut farm handing out bucket loads of boiled peanuts to visitors, the ground looked like this:
After munching our peanuts, we boarded the tractor pulled hayride and took a really fun 10 minute trip through sunflower fields, corn fields, wooded areas, and peanut farmland. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the southern countryside was gorgeous!
Baby girl fell asleep on the hayride. That bumpy road must’ve felt sooooo good!
Finally, we arrived at the pumpkin patch! I was kind of hoping that I could go all barbaric Christmas tree farm on these gourds, and pick the healthy, living, vine-attached pumpkin I wanted and then chop it off myself. But they had already cut the ripe ones from the vine, so it was essentially the same as the church pumpkin patches back in Pensacola, only minus the parking lot in the middle of the city. Regardless, it was a heck of a lot more fun and scenic! Anyhoo, one of my pumpkins is pictured below. I’ll give you a million dollars if you guess which one.
These are the pumpkins that Shauna and Jonathan picked!
After picking our pumpkins, we headed back to the farm on the hayride. Baby girl fell asleep on the return trip too.
When we got back to the farm, we decided to run through the corn maze really quickly. It was small, but I still somehow managed to get lost / turned around. Shauna got nervous but kept her bearings. Jonathan was a rugged outdoorsman and fearlessly led us through the tiny maze and back to civilization.
And that was our trip to the pumpkin patch at Holland Farms in Milton, Florida! Happy Halloween ya’ll!