My family and I have been going to Darnell Farms for as long as I can remember – their Spring Strawberry festival, swinging over the river during Summer Picnics while sipping on a Dole Whip, and we definitely don’t miss the Fall festivities each year. Like everything else this year, COVID19 changed some of those things – but the good news is that the folks at Darnell Farms are still celebrating the greatest season of the year! An afternoon at the farm is the perfect break from the iPad during those remote learning days –during your educational hayride to the pumpkin patch, you will learn all about farming. Who says that virtual learning can’t have field trips?
Nick and I loaded the kiddos up Sunday morning to make our 10:40 reservation on the farm. This year, Darnell Farms has a scheduler set up online to limit the number of people at the farm at one time. You can schedule a time slot and pay online. As soon as we got to the farm, we made sure to say hey to Nate and Afton, and then loaded up in the tractor for the ride to the Pumpkin Patch. The kids took turns driving the tractor through massive mud puddles and around tomato vines that looked just ripe for the picking.
If you haven’t ever been to the Farm, up a huge hill that can only be accessed by the farm’s tractors, sits acres and acres of pumpkins… yes, like an actual pumpkin patch. Once you get to the top – and catch your breath after taking in the magnificent view, the hunt is on for the perfect pumpkin.
If you know anything about my family – you know that each year we have a pretty serious Pumpkin Carving Contest. When I saw pretty serious – I am talking, there are rules and a trophy involved. So picking out the perfect pumpkin is a skill – a skill that only US Pumpkin Carving Contest Champs have mastered. It isn’t always about the size – oh no. Our trip to the Farm means taking the very first step in me winning the contest yet again this year.
After the pumpkin hunting is complete, we headed back down to the mountain just in time to catch the tractor pulling the barrel train, which the kids always love. Lots of fresh produce can be snatched up at the produce stand – which now has a genius drive-thru option to be COVID19 safe!
And the scene they have staged for Fall pictures in front of the vintage trucks is definitely their best creation to date.
I love the folks at Darnell Farms and I love that this annual tradition gets to continue on this year!
Darnell Farms is located in Swain County at 2300 Governors Island Road. For more info, call 828-488-2376