‘Tis the time of year for pumpkins. And New Jersey is full of ’em. After all, it is the Garden State. One of the most charming places I’ve found to pick up your pumpkins is Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, N.J. Recently, I went there with Baby Boy, his nonni, his Sassy Cousin (next to him in the photo above), her Baby Brother, and her mom. First, we headed to the line for the hayride. Baby Boy thinks he’s a landscaper or construction worker, so he was delighted to ride in a real tractor and got quite excited as we entered the back of the truck. And Sassy Cousin enjoyed her time sitting on the bales of hay in the back of the tractor as it hauled us through the farm and up to a hilltop full of pumpkins for picking and apple orchards. Although the apples are ripe for picking in September, Sassy Cousin had Nonno digging for the apples that fell and weren’t yet rotten. We brought some of those home, along with a pumpkin for each of the bigger kids.
Baby Boy adores his liberty and the outdoors, so he found the promised land when I set him free among the pumpkins. He dug up dirt and investigated every pumpkin he could. And Sassy Cousin ran and jumped and bossed Nonno around like absolutely no one else can – maybe not “no one”; she and I are all soul mates in that way.
Finally, we ended the morning by buying scrumptious homemade apple cider doughnuts in the cozy farm store, which also sold bushels of apples, more pumpkins, homemade soups, and potato pancakes, whose scent was tempting. I hear you’ll find homemade pies as Thanksgiving rolls around, which means I just might have to return.Who can resist a delicious pie?
For more information on places to visit in New Jersey, read Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press, 2012)