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Pumpkin Pickin’ Season Begins in Montville

Farmers put out brightest and biggest fall crops for patrons to pick their own produce.

It may be too soon for jack o’lantern carving, but pumpkin picking season has officially begun. Montville farmers are ready to assist, offering patches of pumpkins of different shapes and sizes.

Ivan Bader, owner of Bader Farm, said for him, “picking” season is not just starting but continuing. Bader Farm offers pick-your-own vegetables through the summer and until the first frost. Vegetables available for picking include peppers, zucchini, eggplant and more. Some apples are available for picking, as well as flowers.

“Pumpkins will go until Halloween,” he said.

Bader’s Changebridge Road farm has been in operation through five generations since 1892, with the retail farm stand beginning operation in 1955. Bader said in the early days, people were not interested in picking their own produce.

“This thing with the people picking their own is relatively new in the farming industry,” he said.

Bader said the pick-your-own movement has really taken shape over the past 20 years as agricultural tourism has gained popularity.

Conklin Farm U-Pick, off of River Road, celebrated its opening weekend on Saturday, bringing back many fall favorites, according to Co-Owner Ginger Holmes. The farm has been in operation since 1916.

“We have some really great pumpkins, it was a great year for growing,” Holmes said.

Bader agreed and said this year has been particularly good for his tomato crops. He credited the farm’s irrigation system for giving the vegetables the perfect amount of water to help the fruits and vegetables grow to their full potential.

Ian Bader, Bader’s son, said now is a particularly good time for tomatoes.

“That’s their best time, in the fall,” he said.

As for unusual or large fall produce, Ivan Bader said his farm typically has at least one pumpkin that is over 100 lbs. Holmes said her farm has a 400-lb. pumpkin on display this year that was shipped in from Pennsylvania.

Conklin Farm will also be offering hay rides (haunted and non-haunted) throughout the season and a petting farm with goats, bunnies and chickens this year. 

Both farms are selling homemade apple cider and Bader Farm also offers local honey. 

Leila Oxford September 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Farms View in Wayne also offers U-Pick Pumpkins and hayrides. The pumpkins are actually grown in the fields where you pick them. My children enjoy seeing the vines and flowers and have even picked a green pumpkin that hadn't ripened yet. Farms View also has an animated talking pumpkin that tells a story about how pumpkins are grown. My children also have enjoyed watching the chickens in the chicken tractor grow and are now waiting for the eggs to hatch. Every visit to their farm in Wayne is another great experience for my family. Thanks Farms View for providing our community with such high quality produce and I wish you continued success as you battle with Montville for the use of YOUR well and Mother Natures water!
Brielle Knightly September 24, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Couldn't agree with you more. They have the best of everything and even Produce Pete-Channel 4's produce guru-shops there and even features there produce on his show. I actually have seen him and his wife shopping there, he is even doing a book signing at Farms View on Saturday the 29th. Many of my favorite recipes have come from Dana. All my gardening problems are always resolved by Todd who only sells the best varieties of plants in the spring. An amazing business started by their Mom on a picnic table on the side lawn. I moved to Montville from Wayne over 20 years ago and still continue to drive to Farms View at least 3 or 4 times a wk.

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