My good friends Kelley & Irving (and their adorable four-month-old daughter Adele) invited a group of friends to spend the day at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, CA. It was an opportunity for us former East Coasters to enjoy a taste of fall, but the Los Angeles weather refused to cooperate. I stubbornly wore my lightest scarf in an effort to celebrate the fall season even as temps hit 90 degrees.
Animal exhibits were a big hit with the toddler crowd. Even the adults marveled at this overhead structure that allows goats to cross from one pen to another. It was actually so warm that the goats chilled out in the shade of their own pens, too spent to show off their tight-rope walking skills to us pumpkin patch patrons.
There were gorgeous flowers and lavender on display inside the arena.
I loved this pumpkin house. By late afternoon several of the pumpkins had sold and we posed inside, sticking our heads out (see way below).
Underwood Family Farms even allows guests to pick their own fruits and veggies from the farm. If we’d had more time (and if the weather had cooperated) this would have been fun to try. Looks like this is available year-round, so perhaps we’ll return for peas in March or squash in June.
Fall decor was available for purchase in some of the tents. A few caught my eye.
And now for the best part — the FOOD. There was a wide selection and my friends raved about fried sweet potato shavings they’ve enjoyed in past years… but sadly, they were not for sale on the day we went. Favorites among our group were the roasted corn (pre-buttered for extra deliciousness) and snow cones with free refills (perhaps not a fall staple, but necessary for a hot day).
I selected a pulled pork sandwich for lunch, tried a sample of pumpkin bread, and then skipped the snow cones in favor of an orange creamsicle float with free refills. The creamsicle was around $4 and I went back for one refill. It’s literally bottled orange soda with a vanilla Hoodsie cup tossed inside, but it hit the spot on a warm day.
Next up: the tractor parade.
Then we moseyed on over to the pumpkin patch.
The owner of this tractor noticed me snapping photos and came over to provide details on his pride and joy. This bad boy has air conditioning, GPS, and laser technology for cutting grass and planting seed. It reaches a span of over 50 feet when in operation.
Time for Adele’s first pumpkin photo shoot! She cooperated beautifully despite the harsh midday sun.
I even stepped in front of the camera for a few photos. That’s that scarf I refused to shed in the spirit of fall.
Last up on our agenda was the corn maze. I have to confess that despite growing up in New England, this was my first corn maze.
Last year my friends said it took them about 45 minutes to get through it, but this year we sped to the end in under 20. It helps when you compare notes with other maze participants: “That way’s a dead end.” “This way too.” “Let’s try over there!” This works as long as no one tries to deliberately send you the wrong way!
And we found our way to the pyramid of hay bales in the center! We climbed up top for 360 degree views of the whole farm.
On our way out of the farm, we stopped at a patch of sugar pumpkins intended for baking use. Since these little guys were smaller than their big brothers in the main patch, I grabbed one to decorate my studio apartment back home.
And here’s the pumpkin house again — this time with a few missing. We took advantage of the photo op.
Happy fall! What traditions do you partake in to celebrate the season? Hay rides, haunted houses, or secret costume planning? I’d love to hear about it.