Pumpkin Patches: The Most Mind-Numbing Autumn Tradition

Zachary Grover, Editor-in-Chief

   Pumpkin patches are a staple of fall. Pumpkins, baked goods, a corn maze, and maybe a hay ride help remind us all that we have been drowning in everything “pumpkin spice” for a month already. The only issue is that pumpkin patches are lame. Screaming kids, dads grabbing pumpkins while the rest of the family just smiles and nods so they can leave sooner, and high school sweethearts posing for Instagram photos that will inevitably have some corny caption like “I’m FALLing for you” and be deleted from their accounts when they break up a day before the Halloween party. 

   According to Bates Nut Farm, pumpkins in the field, called “Big Macs” or “Big Jack O’Lanterns” run $0.60 per pound and start at 25 pounds. That’s fifteen bucks at least for one pumpkin.  Add in the $8 weekend entry fee, because there’s no way teenagers are going during the week, as well as gas money to get to and from, and all of a sudden you have one pretty expensive fall tradition on your hands. All for a photo behind some hay bale and a pumpkin that took longer to carve than you thought it would and rots on your porch after a day so that no one will see it anyways.  Save yourself some money and a whole lot of effort and pick up your pumpkin at Vons for $6

   Many people love pumpkin patches because they give off a feeling of fall nostalgia. Going to the pumpkin patch is, simply put, a to-do list item for many people once the calendar flips to October. However, just because something is on the to-do list during a certain time of year doesn’t mean it is all that cool and exciting. Tax day doesn’t make us happy and it comes every year. People don’t love the pumpkin patch; they love the idea of going to the pumpkin patch. That’s probably because, by themselves, pumpkin patches are boring as heck. 

   The petting zoo. Petrified, nervous baby animals that you got to feed a carrot to and touch with two fingers. Whoopty doo! How has PETA not shut all these down? Go ride a horse in Lakeside, like a self respecting teenager. 

   The corn maze. Is it supposed to be romantic? Because it sure as heck isn’t. Kids sprinting all around you and then inevitably screaming for their parents once they make their second wrong turn. Whether you go in by yourself or with friends, why would you do that? Just to say you made it out and walk out fifty yards from where you walked in? Even the mice in the labs do it for a prize, and you did it for “fun.” You probably will end up getting lost and screaming for a kid’s mother right along with them after you make two wrong turns and realize coming in was a stupid idea. 

   The hayride. Another severely overrated pumpkin patch experience. First of all, you are sitting on hay, possibly the most uncomfortable surface to plant one’s bottom. All throughout the ride you will surely be poked and prodded with hay, as there is literally no comfortable position to sit in. All the while, kids will be moving around in your personal space as they once again scream at their parents. You want scenery? There’s nothing to be seen. Take a look at the pumpkins rotting on the vine in the middle of an empty field. A Ford F-150 is no horse-drawn carriage either. Being charged by a bull would be more romantic than this “famous hayride” you saw in the brochure. 

   Senior Garret King described pumpkin patches perfectly. “It’s just a lamer version of where you get your Christmas tree. For some reason though, people love it more,” he said. At least there’s a movie about people going to get a Christmas tree. Any movies about going to get a pumpkin? No, because you have to get them two days before Halloween, then you stay up too late the night before Halloween because you picked too hard of a design and it isn’t even fun anymore. Then to cap it off, you have to throw away your pumpkin two days after because it will mold. All this hoopla for one night of a lit up pumpkin, and you will hardly be outside to see it. Hope it was worth it; I’ll stick to Costco.