Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! When else do you get to be whoever you want, see the inside of all your neighbors’ houses, and receive tons of free candy? I love everything about Halloween: the costumes, parties, trick-or-treating, colors (orange and brown…how chic!), seasonal foods (pumpkins, squashes, apples, mushrooms), and smell of the air. Though Halloween has always appealed to me, experiencing it now through the eyes of my children is amazing. I love sharing the long-standing traditions established by my family, the penultimate of which is the visit to the pumpkin patch. When I was a child, this was a simple affaire. One afternoon, usually sometime during the week of Halloween, we would drive out to an empty parking lot that was “transformed” by hay and orange pumpkins. We would pick out our favorites (one each!), and head home to carve, and roast the seeds. Simple yet powerful, this is the stuff memories are made of… Times have changed slightly. Today, parents seem to be on the lookout for bigger and better experiences for their children, and I’m as guilty as the next type-A, over-achiever. I try to keep most urges under control…but I can’t resist the Underwood Family Farm Fall Festival.
Last year was the first year we visited the Underwood Family Farm in Moorpark. All it took was one visit, to create our own tradition. My children are hooked. They are in love. They cannot wait to go this year. And I don’t blame them—the place is amazing, and worth the 50 minute drive from our home in Brentwood. This year we’re going sometime on the 13th or 14th, because it’s Tractor Weekend at the farm. My three-year-old son is particularly excited about the antique tractor parade (which happens at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm on both days). If tractor parades don’t strike your fancy, don’t worry there is much else to do at the farm. During the festival you can walk through acres and acres of already picked pumpkins, gourds and squashes (and you can get a wagon or a wheel barrel to cart your selections), ride on kiddie rides, get your face painted, listen to live music, eat fabulous food (don’t miss the mini donuts—freshly fried!), and take a tractor-guided tour of the farm. If you’re more industrious, you can also pick your own produce. In October there are many crops to gather including the obvious pumpkins, squash and gourds, plus beefsteak tomatoes, Valencia oranges, green beans and salad greens. Most items that you pick are priced per pound. Oh, I almost forgot! This year they’ve added pig races and barnyard stories… Come on! That’s reason enough to check it out (I for one have never seen a pig race…and that’s something I’ve got to remedy…never seeing a pig race, is like leading an unexamined life!).Hope to see you there! Sooweee!!!