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How to Pick the Best Pumpkin and 9 Local NJ Pumpkin Patches

by & filed under Family Time : New Jersey.

9 Local NJ Pumpkin Patches

Who doesn’t want a pumpkin as fresh as can be? Supermarket pumpkins can be off the vine for weeks before they make it to the produce section! The solution? Pick your own. Here are five great tips for choosing a long-lasting pumpkin and local farms to pick your own.

1. CHECK OUT THE COLOR OF THE PUMPKIN.

When it comes to finding the perfect pumpkin for carving, color makes a huge difference. Make sure it’s a good color, and what you want is a deeper orange. A pumpkin that is mostly green, but has patches of orange would still be a good pumpkin to choose if you don’t plan to carve it right away, pumpkin can still ripen even after you’ve picked it from the patch, but don’t start carving until its mostly orange.

2. LOOK FOR HOLES, WOUNDS, OR SCABS ON THE PUMPKIN.

You don’t want soft spots or darkening spots. Small imperfections can be okay if you plan to carve the pumpkin right away, but if you’re waiting and need the pumpkin to hold up, then you don’t want it to have any blemishes. Soft spots indicate that the pumpkin is beginning to spoil and rot. To check for soft spots, feel around the pumpkin with your hands and press across the skin of the pumpkin with your fingers. Scrapes, on the other hand, aren’t as bad as wounds or soft spots when it comes to carving a pumpkin. You need to make sure that your pumpkin doesn’t have any open holes. A blemish-free pumpkin would be the ideal choice.

3. CHOOSE A PUMPKIN WITH A GREEN STEM.

The stem of the pumpkin can be a good indicator of its health. A stem that’s a pretty green is always best. Stems can dry up, though, and that’s okay. The pumpkin can still be good. What you need to look for is evidence of mold. The growth of mold signals that the pumpkin is on its way to decaying, and you don’t want that. A green handle is better than a brown handle if you want your pumpkin to last through October.

4. DON’T GO FOR MINI PUMPKINS.

They might look cute but they can be harder to carve. The small size of the pumpkin could increase the risk of getting cut with the carving knife and requires a better level of skill when carving. “The smaller size also means that you might not be able to fit a candle or a flashlight in the pumpkin,” Dussel says. So, if you want to choose a pumpkin that both you and your children can carve together, a larger pumpkin is always the best route. Another benefit of choosing a large pumpkin? They can be sculpted like clay for carving really cool facial features. Carve outside in, and you can get some great light and shadow effects with a large jack-o-lantern.

5.  AN ODD-LOOKING PUMPKIN MIGHT BE PERFECT.

If you want to have a truly frightening or unique jack-o-lantern, then choosing an odd-shaped pumpkin might be the right way to go. Sometimes, pumpkins are odd-shaped if they’ve grown next to a rock or had a vine wrapped around it.  So-called warty pumpkins have been really popular during Halloween because they make great faces for goblins or witches. The “warts” aren’t true warts. Instead, it’s a genetic mutation that creates a bumpy texture across the skin of the pumpkin that resembles warts in appearance. It’s one of the many varieties of pumpkins and it might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are a list of local pumpkin farms- most within an hour’s drive. Be aware that often a pumpkin patch will have clipped the vines to make it easier to choose your pumpkin. Vines also can be tripped on! If you visit a farm that allows you to pick your specimen directly from the vine, remember to bring a clipper or pocket knife to cut the vines. If you are traveling with little ones or planning to get a really BIG pumpkin, consider bringing a wagon. It will come in handy for toting pumpkins and tired toddlers.

 

 Ort Farms 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley

Details: Located in beautiful Long Valley, Ort Farms is known for its peaceful and scenic atmosphere. The farm features a great pumpkin patch where visitors chop pumpkins off the vine. This hundred-year-old farm also features hayrides, farm animals, a corn maze and monster truck rides. Their farm stand includes fall treats such as freshly baked pies and apple cider donuts.
More InfoVisit the website or you can give them a call

Alstede Farms . 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester

Details: Perhaps one of the most popular farms in the state, Alstede Farms features tons of fall family fun. In addition to pumpkin picking, the farm features a bounce house, hay pyramid, corn maze and farm animals. Be sure to try a scoop of the farm’s delicious homemade pumpkin ice cream while you’re there. Visitors can pick pumpkins from mid-September through mid-November. The farm gets extremely busy on weekends, but luckily, Alstede features plenty of activities during the week as well.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Riamede Farm   122 Oakdale Road, Chester

Details: Riamede Farm offers an authentic pumpkin picking experience, one where you cut the pumpkin off the vine yourself! A weekend visit to this tranquil farm includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch. (Don’t forget to bring a pair of clippers.) Riamede farm is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Terhune Orchards 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton

Details: Head to Terhune Orchards to find that perfect Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. The farm’s huge pick-your-own patch features pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Cheese pumpkins, which are perfect for baking, are also available in the farm store. Weekend activities also include music, pony rides, scavenger hunts, and a corn maze. There’s even a wine tasting room on-site, featuring award-winning wines made from grapes grown at Terhuad 513e.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call

Demarest Farms 244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale

For an interesting twist on a visit to the pumpkin patch, check out Demarest Farm’s Friday Night Movies and Pumpkin Picking. The farm also features pumpkin and apple picking, and a variety of fall attractions during the rest of the week.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Melick’s Town Farm 472 Country  Road, Califon

Details: Head to Melick’s Town Farm on weekends for a horse-drawn wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch, where you can choose from the many pumpkins that are still growing on the vine. The farm also has plenty of gourds, corn stalks, Indian corn and hay bales to help you decorate your home for the fall season. In addition, Melick’s boasts a free grass maze, giant hay bales, and friendly farm animals.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Norz Hill Farm 120 S Branch Road, Hillsborough

Details: Looking to go pumpkin picking during the week? Avoid the weekend crowds and head to Norz Hill Farm. Norz Hill also offers weekday hayrides to the pumpkin patch. Of course, they still offer things to do from Fri-Sun as well. In fact, they really go all out. On the weekends, activities expand to include farm tours, a corn maze, a food stand, a kid’s corner and more.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Bullock Farms 83 Emley’s Hill Road, Cream Ridge

Details: Enjoy a scenic 25-minute hayride through beautiful Bullock Farms to their pumpkin patch. The farm offers pumpkins, gourds and ornamental squash right from the field. The wagons continuously drop off and pick up, so visitors can spend as much time as they need to find the perfect pumpkin. Bullock’s is open for pumpkin picking on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 22 through October 31. Kids can also enjoy the farm’s corn mazes and animals.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

Tranquility Farms 47 Decker Pond Rd, Andover

Details: Tranquility Farms has returned to on-the-vine pumpkin picking this year. The farm’s vast fields are filled with beautiful pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. During Fall Fest, which takes place on weekends from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, guests can take a hayride to the pumpkin field for just $2. Additional activities include pumpkin launchers and corn cannons, a giant bounce pillow and a corn maze.
More Info: Visit the website or you can give them a call.

 9 Local NJ Pumpkin Patches

 9 Local NJ Pumpkin Patches

 9 Local NJ Pumpkin Patches


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