Lifestyle

Pick a perfect pumpkin

Sandra and Lee Greer of Oak Harbor teach their 2-month-old son, Nathan, the art of picking the perfect pumpkin. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Sandra and Lee Greer of Oak Harbor teach their 2-month-old son, Nathan, the art of picking the perfect pumpkin.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Early mornings and evenings are brisk and the faint smell of chimney smoke lingers in the air. It’s fall. Days are getting shorter, nights colder and pumpkins are popping up on doorsteps up and down the island.

Eager pumpkin poachers snapped up the traditional gourd-like squash from local farms during the fourth annual Whidbey Island Farm Tour last weekend, to kick off the annual farm-to-porch pumpkin procession.

The 111-year-young Case Farm offers standard pumpkins for carving and long pie and sugar pumpkins for cooking, said Sheila Case-Smith. Tomatoes, sweet onions, herbs and gourmet vegetables are among other offerings at the Case Farm. Stop by anytime for a u-pick adventure, or Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a more complete farm experience. Medium pumpkins cost $2, large up to $5.

Dugualla Bay Farms offers several varieties of pumpkins: standard, cinderella, sugar and ghost, said manager Shari Meager. The farm’s popular roadside stand also offers fresh veggies, gourmet carmel apples, cider and ice cream. Carving pumpkins cost 21-cents a pound; cinderella, sugar and ghost are 35-cents a pound.

Tour the farm via hay ride on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. for $1.

A 4.5 acre corn maze designed and maintained by Meagher’s daughter, Sarah, is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for flashlight nights. Stop by Saturday nights and stay warm by the bonfire. The maze experience costs $4.

Fright Night, Saturday, Oct. 31 is back by popular demand, said Meagher. Admission to the one-night “haunted” corn maze is $5.

Fourth-generation Ebey’s Prairie native, Georgie Smith, of Willowood Farm sells decorative squash and 25 varieties of edible and heirloom pumpkins at the Coupeville and Bayview Farmers Markets.

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