We live near the best pumpkin patch I have ever seen. It's called Bear Creek Pumpkin Patch.
To get there, take CA99 to Merced. Get off at the exit to Hwy 140 eastbound toward Yosemite. Drive a ways out of town, between the orchards and the railroad tracks, until you reach Plainsburg Road. You can't miss it; there's a big trailer with a sign directing you to the pumpkin patch. Turn right. Drive about 4 miles to Baxter Road and turn left, following the handpainted pumpkin signs all the way. Park in the dusty lot, try to grab a wagon, and enjoy.
We've visited this pumpkin patch every single year since we moved here. We went yesterday with Sally and fam. Bliss. I don't know if I got enough of it. I might have to go back and drop another wad on cute squash and gourds, and this time enjoy the zinnias and sunflowers and do the corn maze. Yesterday I was a bit too busy chasing short people. But it was a perfect autumn day. Warm, breezy, ideal for judging a rainbow of pumpkins and snapping photos of the cuties. There were even a couple of guys sitting in the shade playing bluegrass. So perfectly beautiful.
If this joint doesn't end up in a major magazine sooner rather than later (Sunset, are you listening? I really want you to get this one before Martha does) I am going to be shocked and appalled. That's the PR lady in me speaking.
We had acorn squash tonight with our London Broil and bulgur wheat and grape salad. I have been reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver (skipping the preachy parts, sorry) and today I feel like I am partaking of the whole shebang.