As we move into fall and the Great Pumpkin spreads its magic, pumpkin patches pop up all over the Bay Area. For both kids and foodies, Farmer John's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay is a good first stop. As owners John and Eda Muller note, "We are a pumpkin farm, not a pumpkin patch." And Farmer John's does forgo some of the touristy trappings of pumpkin patches, and instead features one of the largest selections of pumpkins, squash, and ornamental gourds in the Bay Area.
Not only does the farm sell large "jack-o-lantern" pumpkin varieties like the Howden, it also carries numerous cooking pumpkins like the Red Curry, Sugar Pie, Cinderella and the Red Kabocha. (Here is their recipe for pumpkin soup). The farm even features dozens of unique specialty pumpkins like the 500-pound Atlantic Giant and the Princess, a bright pink pumpkin good for both decoration and cooking. "We're the only ones who have them," says John.
Founded by the Mullers a dozen years ago, Farmer John's raises pumpkins, winter squash and ornamental gourds for the restaurant and wholesale trade year-round and opens their pumpkin patch every fall. The pumpkins and squash come in all shapes and sizes and colors range from oranges and reds to white, green and even blue. Along with the large variety of pumpkins, Farmer John's features antique tractors and trucks, a hay bale pyramid and numerous family photo spots. Muller and his staff are happy to help buyers find the right pumpkins for decoration or cooking.
Farmer John's Pumpkin Farm is located in Half Moon Bay on Highway 1. The farm is open weekdays 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Directions and more information available on the website.