For 20 years or so, I've been going to the same 3 farms in October for "Pumpkin Extravaganza" (see 2007) This year. No more. Depressing.
Laurie and I woke up at a reasonable time for a Sunday morning, drove about an hour down to South Jersey to the same farm I've been pumpkin picking/hayride forever. Emmons Dairy Farm. We pulled up. Closed. Done. Gone. No more.
Depressed, we trucked on to the next stop. Mr. McGregors farm for fresh pies. (well, not sure how fresh strawberry and rhubarbs can be) Sure they have great pies....but looking around the store for some preserves, jellies, good fun local stuff, came up short with loads of high fructose corn syrup crap.
Strike two. No worries, Robsons Farm market down the road, the last stop on the tradition, has a big hayride too, we can pick our own pumpkins there when we pick up the mums!
We pull up. Is it closed? No...but it's no longer Robson's....it's some other name...and it shows. No more hayrides, no more growing their own pumpkins, no more fields of pumpkins, the great pumpkin? no....but I surely felt like Charley fucking Brown at this point. Trucked in pumpkins. Same "fresh fructose corn syrup" produce as the other place. We went home. I have pictures, but it's too depressing for me to post and not worth it. I'm glad Laurie had a chance to experience the tradition I'll talk about the "remember when things were great" to my kids.
Support your local farms perhaps?