Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Adventures at Hollin Farms

I had my lunch box and two wonderful people at my side. It was an amazing day.

The Bromance

Hollin Farms is in Delaplane, Virginia, a place I never knew existed. The drive to get there once we picked up our friend BM was almost two hours of countryside and small towns in between. The air was clean, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the weather was perfect for a pair of jeans and a light cardigan. When we arrived, the hill that served as a parking lot was almost completely filled with minivans and trucks. There were a number of families, mostly with little ones who will be celebrating their first Halloween this year, and some had brought their entire clan it seemed. There were a few dogs on a leash amidst the toddlers carrying pumpkins almost too large for them to carry. Older kids were jumping spastically in the moon bounce, running through the corn maze, and screaming joyously with partially bitten apples in hand.

If there were any more reasons to love this time of year, Hollin Farms provided them in spades. The pumpkin patch itself spread across the side of a hill, acres upon acres of various types and sizes were still attached to the vines that crisscrossed over each other, their large yellow flowers in bloom. It was the first time I’d ever seen those flowers in person, though I goggled at their use in recipes often, and I am kicking myself for not taking a bunch along with my other pickings.

Turks Turban

One thing is certain, however. We’re going to make visiting this part of Virginia a seasonal tradition.  

There is something significantly different in the taste of an apple right from a farm versus the one you get at a supermarket. I’m not particularly fond of Golden Delicious apples, but the ones at Hollin Farms were beyond extraordinary. Crisp, tart, sweet, and meaty, this is how an apple should always taste. Between the boyfriend and myself, we have a peck and a half of apples, and surprisingly cheaper to buy than it would have been at a market. The York is my new favorite apple because of that visit, and I suggest you try one for yourself.

Photos of me eating, courtesy of the boyfriend

After lunch I decided to go to the petting zoo and take photos. I fell in love with the goats there, particularly the buck about the size of large dog. He loved to have his neck scratched and was willing to have his photo taken. The yin-yang kids were rather shy and kept themselves hidden, but the squat and very pregnant doe wagged her little tail and came when you called her.

We collected our pickings and headed back to the car with quite a bit of apples and various squashes in our arms and in our bags. The guys were partial to getting Jack-o’-lanterns, but I got a three teeny tiny ones and large white one that the nice ladies behind the counter said was good eats. On the ride back we stopped at Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville for a driving break. Sadly there were no gluten free beers to try, but it was interesting to sit at the bar with a glass of water and talk with the Czech bartender about the wonders of life.

My Saturday adventure ended with the boyfriend’s latest attempt to teach me how to drive his manual car (I only stalled a few times). I came home with a new-found love with Virginia's countryside, and can honestly say that Hollin Farms is truly worth the trip.

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