As I write this post, it is Halloween day, so Happy Halloween! What’s a better topic to talk about than pumpkin picking at a local pumpkin patch??
The weekend before Halloween, my family and I visited Apple Annie’s in Wilcox, Ariz. (about an hour and a half from Tucson). Apple Annie’s is a farm with pumpkin and vegetable patches (like peppers, zucchini’s, tomatoes, etc.), corn and cotton fields, and an apple orchard.
It is free to visit all farm locations with hours varying depending on the season, but it is open all year round. In the fall, Apple Annie’s has a corn maze and tractor hay rides that cost between $6-20 per person, depending on age and if you want to do both activities or just one. I absolutely love the corn maze and my family and I always conquer the “challenge” maze course (this time it took us about an hour and a half to complete). The hay rides are fun for the little ones and those who would rather sit and enjoy the beautiful desert weather. When we went in late October, it was 91 degrees (Fahrenheit) and sunny. Because of the heat, some of the vegetables (particularly the tomatoes) began melting and rotting in the sunshine so it didn’t always smell the best.
You can pick your own pumpkins, tomatoes, squashes, peppers, and many other vegetables right off the vine to purchase at the Country Store. It was really amazing to see the vegetables that can be grown in the desert and inspired both my mom and I to make our home garden have more variety in produce.
The pumpkins and vegetables are reasonably priced considering that they’re home-grown, although they are more expensive than finding some at a grocery store. To me, I think that it is well worth the price to support local farmers and actually see where our produce is grown and pick it right off the plant.
One unique thing about Arizona is how much cotton that is grown in the region. Cotton farms can be found throughout the state and Apple Annie’s in Wilcox was no exception. I was able to pick a bunch of cotton right off the plant and wow! It was so soft and fresh and looks exactly like a cotton ball bought in a bag from the store! But this piece still had the little seeds inside since I had just picked it off the plant. It’s hard to believe that something grown from a plant is used in basically all of our clothing, bedding, and so many other items.
After my family and I picked out our pumpkins and bought some zucchini’s for zucchini bread, we bought some kettle corn (YUM!) and drove 6 miles to Apple Annie’s apple orchard. My brother and I had never picked apples before, so it was very exciting to be able to pick fresh apples.
When we arrived and walked through the orchard, all of the trees in the front had been picked clean by visitors. I was worried that we were too late, but when we got to the back of the orchard, the trees were FULL of apples! It was mostly Granny Smith’s (with very few ruby red’s or some species of apple like that), which isn’t my family’s favorite type of apple, but it was still fun to pick them. Perhaps I’ll try to bake my first apple pie? We went in with the mindset of picking four apples, and walked out with a dozen, as well as a dozen hot cinnamon cider donuts (which were so delicious!!).
Hot, sweaty and dirty, my family left the orchard and went home. Until next year, Apple Annie’s!
Here are our pumpkins after we finished carving them:
Tip: Apple Annie’s is a working farm and, therefore, is quite messy. The road to get to the farm is paved but parking is in the dirt. All of the walking paths are all dirt with holes and other vegetable debris in the walkways. My baby brother tripped several times, my mom stepped in a giant mud patch, and I tripped into a hole at the orchard. Our shoes (and my baby brother’s entire body) were so filthy by the time we got home. But, it was well worth it!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Apple Annie’s in Arizona? What did you carve into your pumpkins this year?? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!