Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch. Photo courtesy of Lane Farms.

Eat Local Challenge #21

Pumpkin Pickin’

Local pumpkin patch field trip!

Halloween is right around the corner, and who doesn’t love to get a nice big pumpkin in time for the holiday? Take time this weekend to get into the spooky spirit at a pumpkin patch. Whether you choose to carve it, bake it or decorate with it, you definitely need a local pumpkin this year. Try using your pumpkins for something new this year—we have a few ideas for you! Continue on to this weekend’s assignment for fall fun with pumpkins.


Today’s Assignment:


Pumpkin Pickin’

This weekend, search for a local pumpkin patch that grows its own pumpkins.

Visiting a local pumpkin patch is always more fun when you pick them from the vine yourself. Bring a wagon, choose your favorites, and get pickin’.

Orange, white, green pumpkins galore will fill your front porch (and stomach) with fall color. If you have kids, they’ll love a day at the pumpkin patch this weekend. If not, grab a friend and hit the field.

Bring home one or more to experiment with… Carve your scariest face into one, bake pumpkin wedges with another, and save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on. Jar these up and keep them for another on-the-go snack attack.

Decorate your mantle with pumpkins of various colors and impress your friends with your local fall decorations.

Or bake a pie.

Pick a small pumpkin. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds. If the pumpkin is difficult to cut, just place it in the oven for about 10 minutes. It should then cut open easily.

Place the pumpkin halves face down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 1 to 1½ hours or until very soft and tender. Let cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh and purée in a food processor or put through a food mill. Use the flesh in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

In Santa Barbara County, here are three options for your outing (go to one or all three):

Rancho Pumpkin Patch

Rancho San Julian, 6000 San Julian Rd., Lompoc

Open 3pm – 6pm every afternoon in October

Come and experience a REAL Pumpkin Patch at Rancho San Julian where two friends Elizabeth Poett and Katie Hames grew pumpkins from seeds.

The Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch

Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang

Open 10am – 6pm

October 28th Night Maze 6pm–9pm; $10. Last entry into maze will be 9pm.

Locally grown Pumpkins and Corn Maze


Lane Farms and Pumpkin Patch

308 S. Walnut Ln., Santa Barbara

Open Daily 9am–9pm through October 30th. October 31st open 9am–5pm.

Corn Maze open 3pm weekdays, 9am Sat & Sun. Closes daily 1 hour prior to patch close. Hayrides, farm animals, tractors and farm equipment, educational displays, corn maze and pumpkins.

Share your best pumpkin decoration, baked wedges or another pumpkin recipe and tag #EatLocalChallenge2017.

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