Area Gardens Offer Fall Frolicking and More!
Pumpkin patches are a great place to roam around with the family, and many area locales have more to offer than a garden full of giant orange squash. We gathered information on the best-reported pumpkin patches in the area to have local autumn adventures.
Searching for the best pumpkin to create a Jack O’Lantern is always a real treat. We had a chance to speak to two pumpkin farms, but we found a few others in the area that are worth visiting. Here are our top pumpkin patches in the Washtenaw County area, all with other offerings as well.
DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
DeBuck’s features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, family fun area, and country store. Tickets must be purchased online for the 2020 season.
50240 Martz Road, Belleville. 734-260-03345. debuckscornmaze.com | Hours: 10am-6pm, daily.
Not only does Jenny’s have pumpkin picking, but they also have a straw maze, pony rides, a petting farm, and fresh produce, cider, and donuts. Come visit for an all-around Fall adventure!
8366 Island Lake Road, Dexter. 734-424-3431. Jennysfarmstand.com. | Hours: 9am-dusk, daily.
Slow Farm is Organic and U-Pick
“Slow Farm is a certified organic u-pick farm and farm stand devoted to the principles of Slow Food, agroecology, and justice in the food system. Slow Farm’s 187 acres are located in SE Michigan, 3 miles north of Ann Arbor, and include woods, native prairie, and wetlands,” described Kim Bayer, owner of Slow Farm since 2015. “We grow mainly heirloom produce and flowers, and provide an organic farm experience demonstrating biodiversity and ‘closed-loop’ practices.”
Slow Farm also has specialized offerings.
“Slow Farm is unique for being a certified organic and diversified u-pick farm. It’s part of the mission of the farm to create a place where people can come to experience how an organic farm looks, sounds, smells, feels, and tastes,” described Bayer. “My hope is that people can see how much care and effort goes into growing healthy food for our community and that they value and support local farms.”
Slow is currently open for U-pick by reservation Fridays from 12 pm-2 pm, Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m., through October. Check out their website, Facebook page, or newsletter for a link to sign up for a U-pick time slot.
“We start our U-pick in the spring with asparagus in May and strawberries in June,” Bayer described. “Everything we produce on the farm is certified organic. In the summer we grow over 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, including a large selection of wonderful heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. And then in the fall, we have raspberries, and dozens of varieties of winter squash and u-pick pumpkins.”
They have had a good deal of positive feedback from many people about the farms over the years.
“We have people of all ages and also people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. And so many stories of positive feedback,” said Bayer. Stories and comments include:
- Little kids who won’t eat vegetables at home are now eating the carrots, peppers, and tomatoes they’ve picked themselves.
- A man from Poland, with tears in his eyes, said he hadn’t tasted berries so good since he had been home.
- A woman from China told me she didn’t think she would ever see ground cherries again in her lifetime until she came to the farm.
- They often hear people saying “It’s so beautiful here. Your food is so good. Thank you so much for doing this.”
Slow Farm charges for most items by the pound. Prices are comparable to organic produce in the grocery store.
4700 Whitmore Lake Road, Ann Arbor. 917-837-0975. slowfarmandfriends.com. | Hours: Noon-3pm, Friday; 9am-3pm, Saturday-Sunday.
Wiard’s offers U-pick pumpkin patch and u-pick apples along with corn maze, hayrides, and country store. They also have haunted houses during their Night Terrors event for teens.
5565 Merritt Road, Ypsilanti. 734-390-9211. Wiards.com. | Hours: 9am-6pm, Tuesday-Thursday; 9am-11pm, Friday-Sunday.
Wing Farms is Part of Ann Arbor History
“Wing Farms is the perfect place for a family outing,” stated Stacey Wing, who has lived and worked at Wing Farms since 1994, when she married Kevin Wing. “The kids love to run around the patch, visit the animals, and take a hayride.”
Wing explains why Wing Farms is a one-of-a-kind place.
“While we are certainly not the only pumpkin patch in Ann Arbor, we do believe we are unique. We are a real working farm,” stated Wing. “In addition to the average Jack-O-Lantern size pumpkins, we also have a wide variety of squash, gourds, specialty pumpkins, straw, and corn stalks.”
You may even find the Great Pumpkin that Charlie Brown was once searching for.
“We are most famously known for our Giant Pumpkins. Depending on the weather, our Giant Pumpkins can average 100 pounds or more. The largest pumpkin we ever harvested was over 400 pounds. We also offer free hayrides around the pumpkin patch and real farm animals to visit.”
Wing Farms was founded in 1852 by James Wing. His great-great-grandson Kevin owns and operates the farm today.
“There is something for everyone,” said Wing. “Wing Farms provides grains for Corktown distillery, Two James Spirits. After your trip through the pumpkin patch, why not check out the whiskey barn, where you can sample some of their delicious spirits?”
Free parking and admission at Wing Farms. Free hayrides. No pets. No smoking. They’re open October 2 to October 27.
5335 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd., Ann Arbor. 734-761-7578. wingfarms.com. | Hours: 10am-6pm Fridays-Sundays.