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Great Peter Pumpkin Patch
4235 Spring Hill Rd., Petaluma
Reviewed 09/29/12 by Specter
Saturday we took a nice long drive through the Sonoma countryside admiring the rolling hillsides populated by herds of cows, flocks of turkeys, and several brave deer who unfortunately had a desire to play chicken with us. Lucky for them I had no problem being the chicken and giving them the right of way.
After our last close encounter we found ourselves in front of the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch, a patch we've meant to visit many times but for one reason or another were never able to.
The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch is located on the site of Petaluma Creamery and Spring Hill Jersey Cheese, a working dairy farm and creamery, thus many of the activities and sights on offer reflect that. Kids of all ages will enjoy an opportunity to milk a Jersey cow and visit with all the baby cows at the patch. We were told that the cows in the upper field are all due to give birth within the next 45 days so there is a chance you'll get to see a birth during your visit. Once you've seen the beginning of the process you owe it to yourself to taste the end product - their homemade ice cream and a free cheese tasting.
After visiting with the cows you can visit some very friendly donkeys and view the farm equipment and antique buggies. Kids will enjoy climbing on the hay pyramid and making their way through the hay maze. Picnic tables are available under a tent to relax or have a meal.
Of course you come here for the pumpkins. You can walk down a dirt road to the acres of pumpkins still on the vine but it's much more fun to take the extremely bumpy yet oh so fun, free tractor ride down to the patch. On our visit the farmer entertained us during our ride with stories about the farm. He told us about how the big white farmhouse was ordered straight from the Sears Roebuck catalog for $1,600. It was sent out in boxes on the train then came overland on wagons. When they started to un-crate the house they realized that Sears had sent them the wrong house. After months of letters back and forth Sears said they would only charge them $800 if they would just accept that house.
We were also informed that there is a herd of deer that frequents the patch. Sometimes even as people are picking out their pumpkins. You may notice the occasional pumpkin hollowed out, this is the work of the hungry deer. There are also several orphaned deer for which the farmer puts out food. Something to keep an eye out for.
We picked out two big pumpkins - one was $23 and one was $30 – kind of pricey. If you want big pumpkins you won't have to walk far. The farmer said the bigger pumpkins are by the road because the hill drains the water down toward the road and more water equals more pumpkin. Even so you won't have to walk far for pumpkins of any size.
In the adjoining field you can dig for potatoes ($1.50 per pound) Red, Peruvian Purple, Yukon Gold, Russet, and German Butterball. The nice lady who works at the patch said Peruvian Purple is best for roasting, Red for boiling with the skin on, and Yukon for mashing.
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