Carve out time for farms' activities

After you visit the pumpkin patch, take part in hayrides, scarecrow-building, face-painting and petting zoos

Go Play

October 15, 2005|By NICK BROWN | NICK BROWN,SUN REPORTER

Tired of leaving Halloween decorating until the last minute, only to find a few grungy -- or worse, mushy -- pumpkins left at your local supermarket? Get a jump on it this time around -- and make a day of it with a visit to an area pumpkin patch.

This weekend and next are the best for pumpkin-picking. The squash are ripe and ready to be made into jack-o-lanterns, and while you're picking one out, you can also enjoy other fall activities at farms across Maryland.

Paint your pumpkins -- or your faces; go on hayrides; build scarecrows; snake your way through mazes -- it's more than just produce-picking. Here are the activities offered this month at a sampling of area farms:

Larriland Farm

Each weekend this month, check out Larriland Farm's fall festivals, offering such entertainment as the "Boo Barn" and maze for small children, hayrides and apple-picking. As for food and drink, hamburgers, hot dogs, hot and cold cider, and Ms. Moore's Famous Apple Fritters are on the menu.

HOURS 9 A.M. TO 6 P.M. WEEKDAYS; 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. WEEKENDS

WHERE -- 2415 WOODBINE ROAD (ROUTE 94) IN WOODBINE. 410-489-7034 OR PICKYOUR OWN.COM

BAUGHER'S FARM

Add some color to your life by painting your face along with your pumpkin. get to know the softer side of our friends in the animal kingdom by exploring the petting zoo. relax and take in the scenery on a hayride. fall activities take place saturdays and sundays this weekend and next.

Hours --10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (market is open 8 am. to 6 p.m.)

Where --1236 Baugher road in Westminster. 410-848-5541 or baughers.com

CLARK'S ELIOAK FARM

Make your own scarecrow, get your face painted, and enjoy hay and pony rides this weekend and next at clark's elioak farm. also, don't miss "sounds of the season" today, as pupils from catonsville elementary school sing at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Hours --10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through nov. 6

Where --10500 Clarksville Pike (route 108) in Ellicott City. 410-730-4049 or clarkland farm.com

SPRING MEADOW FARMS

Combine learning with entertainment this weekend at Spring Meadow Farms. Learn about agriculture on a tractor-driven, educational hayride. Then scare yourself into forgetting it all -- the children's haunted house runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. take a pedal-tractor course, then entertain yourself by building a scarecrow or trying to find your way out of a straw maze. in addition, pony rides take place from noon to 4 p.m.

Hours --10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends

Where --15513 Hanover Pike in Upperco.

410-239-8505 or springmeadowfarms.com

APPLEWOOD FARM

Besides the farm's maze, "pumpkin season" activities include hayrides and pony rides. be sure to check out applewood farm's train display, along with the petting zoo.

Hours --10 a.m. to 4 p.m. saturdays and sundays in October. (the farm will also be open for the same hours this friday, when some public schools are closed.)

Where -- 4435 Prospect Road in Whiteford. 410-836-1140 or applewoodfarm.org

nicholas.brown@baltsun.com

Information

Tips

When picking out your pumpkin:

Make sure it does not have mold, especially around the stem.

When you knock on the pumpkin, it should have a nice full sound.

Look all around the pumpkin for scratches and dents.

[diynetwork.com]

Resources

Find more pumpkin farms and other types of "PYO" (pick your own) farms at these Web sites:

marylandagriculture.info:

Click on the "markets" link, then on "pick your own."

pickyourown.org:

This national registry of PYO farms has a seasonal link to pumpkin farms and corn mazes in Maryland and elsewhere.

Note: Always call ahead before visiting a farm; weather and other factors can change scheduled operating hours.

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