10/23/10

Half Moon Bay Day

Carri and Jason from Read Between the Limes accompanied us on our 2nd annual trip to Arata's Pumpkin Farm in Half Moon Bay today. You may recall our trip here last year, on October 3. I recommend going the first weekend in October. It was packed today.

IMG_0001

Plenty of pumpkins tho'.

IMG_0018

IMG_0020

IMG_0019

IMG_0011

IMG_0009

A little background:
The Arata Pumpkin Farm is the oldest working pumpkin farm in San Mateo County, California. Pumpkins have been a way of life at the Arata Farm since 1932...

About 3,000 tons of pumpkins are grown each year by 15 or so commercial growers in the Half Moon Bay area who ship them throughout the US. The Arata Farm distributes pumpkins to Rite Aid Stores nationwide.
How much water is in 3,000 tons of pumpkin?

IMG_0006

IMG_0005

IMG_0004

In addition to the pumpkins, Arata has a 2-2.5 acre straw bale labyrinth that changes every year. That's one of its outer walls.

IMG_0012

Admission to the labyrinth is $7, but you can enter it as many times as you want. I believe it's also open most of the year. And you can do it at night with flashlights. The walls are about 7' high but I managed to take this picture from inside with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, holding it over my 6'2"-tall head.

We're lost in the straw bale labyrinth!

Inside the labyrinth you'll find a minotaur dispensing small, golden pumpkins. Which I think is pretty darn cool. There are also tractor rides, a petting zoo, a haunted barn...and gladiator fights.

IMG_0030

And corn, which was much taller last year.

IMG_0028

Alas, we did not stay for the gladiator fights.

Half Moon Bay is a troubled town. I'm not sure how it all went down but city leaders deliberately, and very foolishly, flooded a large piece of land to create wetland for birds. Unfortunately, the land was owned by a developer who sued in federal court and won a judgment for $38.6M. As the town's annual budget is only $10M, I believe they get to vote this November on whether to raise taxes to settle the judgment, or declare bankruptcy and disincorporate. The federal judge in that case, by the way, is the same federal judge who recently found California's anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 unconstitutional. He recently announced his retirement.

We stopped in town to visit the little garden furnishing store, Half to Have It. Quelle surprise--I took pictures.

IMG_0042

IMG_0043

These glass faces are cool.

IMG_0041

IMG_0054

We bought one of these fake floats last time.

IMG_0052

Maybe we'll have one of these in the next garden:

IMG_0056

Michelle at From Seed to Table makes pizza in hers--among other things, I'm sure.

IMG_0049

The grounds are mulched with tumbled glass.

IMG_0044

IMG_0055

IMG_0046

Mammies for Christopher C.! I think he once said he has a collection of these things. I think I said I did not approve... Ha, ha! Well, you don't see these for sale in California very often.

IMG_0062

I like the hands, but the rest of my group said, "Um, no."

IMG_0063

We all agreed on the passionflower tho'.

IMG_0064

"It's a flower in a flower," said Jason.

6 comments:

Carri said...

Jason will be so excited to be quoted...Thanks for showing us a good time! BTW- Alex loved her pumpkin but said "This is not big enough to make pumpkin pie", guess we will have to get more....

Home Grown Tomatoes said...

Good read. Great pictures. -Gannburg

Christopher C. NC said...

You and Guy are so good about getting out there and enjoying life.

It has been so long I don't know what part of my Black Americana collection survived the purge when I left Maui. Spring should reveal what is left when I move in and unpack.

weeder1 said...

I'd LOVE to have one of those glass faces and the hands are wonderful!! I'd want at least one of those too.

Queer by Choice said...

I like the hands too. And the tumbled glass mulch. And I love the picture from inside the labyrinth.

That's quite a statue in the first picture - not the sort of thing I expect to see at a pumpkin farm.

Annie in Austin said...

The entire post is a visual pleasure, Chuck. Pumpkins and corn always seem so midwestern to me - but they're obviously very happy in Half Moon Bay.

Everything in the Half to Have It store is interesting, but my purchase might be those glass ringie things... think the birds would think they were cool waiting-your-turn at the birdbath perches.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose