While COVID-19 has altered Halloween plans and activities for some it hasn’t changed pumpkin patches and there are a variety of pumpkin picking and collecting locations open throughout Sonoma County this October.
Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch and seasonal store is once again open for pumpkin and gourd picking. The patch offers classic carving pumpkins in every size as well as smaller choices and plenty of colorful gourds.
Patch goers can also check out the resident farm animals and kids can pose for photos in front of the haystacks or old tractors.
The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and masks are required for entry. Grandma’s is located on the north edge of town at 17740 Healdsburg Ave.
The family run farm has been serving Healdsburg for several years and is also known for its other autumnal products like pumpkin bread.
Those in the Windsor and Mark West area, or for anyone who drives down U.S. 101 north past Mark West Springs Road, are sure to notice the bright strands of lights and colorful signs for Punky’s Pumpkins.
Punky’s has a wide selection of pumpkins, squash and heirloom winter squash, plus, they are still offering their locally famous train rides and hayrides daily.
On weekends visitors can purchase sweet treats like cotton candy, snowcones and fresh squeezed lemonade.
Due to COVID-19 health regulations, a few of the traditional Punky’s offerings — such as the giant fiberglass slide, corn pit, bounce house and photo ops with cardboard cutouts — will not be available this year.
COVID protocols in place include six-foot social distancing, facial covering requirements for everyone over the age of 2, hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass shields for cashiers, regular sanitation of bathrooms, picnic tables, credit card machines, wagons and wheelbarrows and train and tractor rides.
All staff are also required to do a temperature and symptom check prior to their arrival.
Punky’s started in 1995 when local business owner Mike Gutzman, also known as Pumpkin Mike for his love of pumpkins, launched the family owned and operated farm. Gutzman first started farming on his own two-acre property and later expanded to working on 20 acres.
The patch is open until Oct. 31, 11 a.m. until dusk Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until dusk Saturday through Sunday. They are located at 50 Mark West Springs Road.
Even though Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch is closed this year due to the virus Cloverdalians can pick some pumpkins at the mini-patch at the Rockin’ A Adventure Café.
The to-go coffee shop is selling pumpkins out the back of the owner’s jeep daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The patch is called “Sally’s Pumpkins” and visitors can even pose in front of a makeshift scarecrow after getting their pumpkin of choice.
There is no set cost for pumpkins, instead folks will be asked for a small donation to the local food bank or other local nonprofits. They are open daily at 1313 South Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.
West and north west Sonoma County
While Papa’s Pumpkin Patch in Sebastopol is closed this year there are still a few choice locations for pumpkin hunting for west and north county residents.
Foggy River Farm, led by Lynda Hopkins and her husband Emmett Hopkins, is open this year for pumpkin picking.
In addition to picking out pumpkins and squash from colorful, striped and speckled options, guests can also pick up fresh produce, dry beans, popcorn and winter cooking squash.
While there are no hayrides, bounce houses or fancy lights, Foggy River offers an authentic, Russian River Valley farm experience that has been run by three generations of farmers.
Due to COVID-19 folks can visit the farm by reservation only and if interested in making a reservation for the weekend of Oct. 17 folks are encouraged to check back mid-week. The farm has been busy according to their website, and they’re currently pausing reservations to make sure they have enough inventory. For this reason, their last day opening the patch may be Oct. 18, but check the website for details.
Basic reservations start at $20 and go up to $100 for special packages of both decorative and edible pumpkin picking.
Foggy River Farm is located at 8291 Eastside Road in Healdsburg. They are typically open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Reservations required.
For more information or to check on reservations, visit: http://www.foggyriverfarm.org/pumpkinhours.html or call 707-483-1894.
While Hale’s Apple Farm in Sebastopol is known for, well, its apples, they also offer both edible and decorative pumpkins for sale in the fall.
Cinderella, Po-ke-mon, Solid Gold, Sweet Meat, Sugar Pie, Jarrahdale, Full Moon, Kabocha, Atlantic Giant, Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard, Swan Gourd, Snake Gourd, Gremlins and Butternut are available at the farm from October through November.
The “U-Pick” option for pumpkin gathering isn’t available this year but folks can purchase pumpkins and select a wide variety of apples from their store stand at 1526 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol.
Not only are pumpkins and apples available, but apple juice and tomatoes will be available through November.
The Hale Farm has been in Dave Hale’s family for over 120 years and the 20-acre farm is traditionally kept with minimal pesticides and each apple tree is cared for individually.
For information about their location visit http://missioncommunitymarket.org/hale_farms/index.html or call 707-823-4613. The farm store is open daily from August to November from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.