Hunting for a Great Pumpkin during Covid

My friend Lauryan Perry and I had to maneuver our way around the farm as we looked for the perfect pumpkin. On our journey, we ran across this small sunflower patch and play structure. If you look closely in the background, you can see this is a popular attraction. The slides are not just for children. (Photos & Captions by Leslie Santos)

By Leslie Santos

DCI Intern

My friend, Lauryn Perry, and I were looking for something to do one day this fall, but with Covid-19 throwing things into chaos, we didn’t know exactly what.

In late October, with Halloween just around the corner, we decided to hunt for sunflowers and to go to a pumpkin patch. So we went on our phones and we eventually found the Smith’s Family Fun Farm close by in Hillsborough.

One thing we liked about the Smith Family Fun Farm is it’s a place with plenty of space where people can enjoy the outing while social distancing. Depending on the size of the pumpkins, they typically cost about $5, and it’s considered a donation to the farm.

It was a pretty inexpensive outing where we didn’t have to reserve in advance or pay for parking, nor did we have to pay for an entrance ticket.

When we arrived, there was an open field where we parked, and behind this field we could see an open-pole barn. On the left side of the barn was a small sunflower field which we were surprised to see was still flourishing in late October.

At the front entrance of the farm, there are little wagons that people can use to pull pumpkins or children around the property. Looking closely, one can see that the leaves and the pumpkins are slowly decomposing. By late October pumpkins and sunflower season are coming to an end.

Down past the sunflower field there were big black slides for kids and adults to play on, and next to the slides were two even smaller slides for the littlest of people. We went to the sunflower field because we didn’t see the pumpkins, and I was just fascinated that there were still sunflowers blooming in spite of the approaching Autumn.

We noticed a table where people could get a wagon to pull around their kids or pumpkins they had picked through the sunflower field or pumpkin patch. After looking at the sunflowers for awhile, we started to look for pumpkins because we weren’t totally sure if we could pick sunflowers.

As the day grew shorter and the shadows grew longer, we decided to make our way back to the car. I noticed the little girl to the right was almost hidden and snapped this picture. She was looking for smaller pumpkins that had not rotted already. In the background people gather for photos at a make-shift booth.

Down past the barn, we saw the pumpkin field which was shaped like an “L.” We took some of these pictures and about 10 minutes after, we started searching for the perfect pumpkin. As we walked around looking for a pumpkin, I kept seeing big ones all over – it must have been a good year for the crops.

 After searching a little longer, we didn’t find one that was a good size for us, so we decided to look in the open-pole barn. There we found a ton of pumpkins, all shapes and sizes.

We finally found the perfect one.

We visited a separate sunflower field because we decided to hunt for bigger sunflowers. All we could find before were small ones that had already began to fall apart.