Decorating doorsteps, carved with silly faces or baked into pies, pumpkins are a fall necessity. Shy until autumn, the vibrant orange, cloudy white or mellow green pumpkins make their first appearance on the first day of October. For those seeking the true fall pumpkin patch experience, below are some of the best patches in Marin.
Organic Pumpkin Patch at Marin Country Mart: 3/5 stars
Located in Larkspur Landing across from the ferry building, the organic pumpkin patch at Marin Country Mart provides customers with fresh heirloom pumpkins from Marin’s Fresh Run Farm in Bolinas. Conveniently located in two spots in the shopping center, one next to Three Twins Ice Cream and the other near the Marin Country Mart Trading Post, the small pumpkin patches are open every day all day until Oct. 31.
Under and around a tall, long-branched tree stands series of hay stacks that provide the support for the display of many organic pumpkins. Offered
in a variety of colors from creamy white to warm orange, the pumpkins are sold through a white cash box which displays the pricing of each pumpkin. The pumpkins are sold by flatrate size; small pumpkins are sold for $5, medium for $10 and large for $15. As no one stands guard or mans the pumpkin booth, the pumpkins are sold in the form of the honor system.
Although the Pumpkin Patch at Marin Country Mart’s location is very accessible and convenient for Redwood students, the pumpkin patch doesn’t provide their customers with an enthusiastic fall season feeling. If one is looking to buy pumpkins quickly, than this pumpkin patch is a quality visit. On the contrary, if one is seeking a longer, more fulfilling experience at a pumpkin patch, then the Pumpkin Patch at Marin Country Mart may not be the perfect one for you.
Nicasio Pumpkin Patch: 4.5/5 stars
You can find the perfect pumpkin at Nicasio Pumpkin patch, where there are hundreds of pumpkins to choose from. Celebrating their 22nd season in Nicasio, a small town west of Marin, this pumpkin patch not only offers beautiful plump pumpkins but provides customers with a real-life farm experience. Open from ten a.m. to six p.m. on Oct. 1-31, Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch is worth the 32-minute drive from Redwood.
On the farm, high quality organic pumpkins are dispersed along the grounds of the wide-spread meadow. Ranging in size from petite to large, the pumpkins are priced through a wooden cutout in the form of a specific pumpkin size. The pumpkin of one’s choice can either fit in a small, medium or large slot depending on its distinct figure. The prices range from $5 to $32 and increase with the pumpkin size. Along with size, the pumpkins vary in types. There are the typical orange Halloween jack-o-lantern, plump cinderella, silvery
orange fairy tale and pale green jarrahdale pumpkins available for purchase. Additionally, a farm stand greets customers at the entrance, where one can find squash, gourds, decorative corn stalks, small drinks and snacks.
Along with pumpkins, one can find many entertaining attractions including real life farm animals, hayrides and more kid-friendly attractions, such as a jumpy house or an inflatable slide. Most of the attractions are free, but some have an admission fee and are primarily set up on weekends. Furthermore, Nicasio farm invites people to their location as they provide shaded seating areas, live bands on weekends, and Bim Jim’s BBQ, enabling automatic relaxation as the customer looks out at the beautiful agrarian scenery. The environment at the patch is very inviting and friendly, as the workers take their time to welcome and assist customers to their necessities.
Kevin’s Strawberry Villa Pumpkin Patch: 3.5/5 stars
Kevin’s pumpkin patch offers much more than wonderful quality pumpkins. When visiting the patch, which is located off the Highway 101 south Stinson Beach exit, one will experience a blast from the past. Visible from as far as the highway, Kevin’s pumpkin patch is surrounded by gigantic cutouts painted to portray an abundance of Disney characters. Along with the cutouts, the patch has bouncy houses and its famous inflatable space shuttle slide, all available for a total of $5.
Celebrating their 39th year in Marin, Kevin’s Strawberry Villa Pumpkin Patch allows customers to select from a supply of “grade A” pumpkins. The round bright orange pumpkins are found scattered around the cutouts and bouncy houses, ready for the customer to pick their perfect pumpkin. If one guesses the weight of the Big Mac pumpkin, sitting up in front of the trailer, the winner gets to take it for free. The prices range depending on size and schools can receive a 15 percent discount.
Likewise, Indian corn, gourds, miniature pumpkins, pumpkin cutters, scoops and candles are sold up front at the trailer. Free pumpkin recipes and pumpkin facts and information can be found throughout the patch. The worker at front is very friendly and encourages her customers to take photos of the recipes.
The adorable and youthful aspect of Kevin’s Pumpkin patch may be entertaining and engaging for some customers, but primarily attracts younger children and families. The experience visiting Kevin’s is one worth going for, but may not be long-lasting visit for the older customers who may not be as excited to jump and play on bouncy houses or slide down slides.