- Plan a Weekday Afternoon Visit ~ Shhhh… The best kept secret is to visit on weekday afternoons when we are least busy. Take an afternoon off or come after school and enjoy the Pumpkin Patch at an easy pace. Visit Saturday or Sunday Mornings right at 9am for the least busy weekend times.
- Buy ’em BIG! Pumpkins are $.59/lb but we max out at $20/pumpkin from the field so the bigger the pumpkin, the better the value! We have mini pumpkins too for $1.50 each. These minis are perfect for tiny hands or home decor.
- The pumpkin vines have died back due to frost and colder temps. Fewer vines make the pumpkins very visible in the field so families can easily find a Great Pumpkin now through the end of the month.
- Wagon rides take guests to and from the pumpkin patch so plan for some extra time to sit back and enjoy the ride.
- School Tours are scheduled Tuesday- Fridays and most head back to school by 1pm. Students go to a separate pumpkin field from other guests so don’t worry if you see a lot of buses when you arrive. We have lots of pumpkins!
- Family Friendly, Leashed Dogs are welcome to join your family day on the farm. Please clean up after your dog. Feel free to take fido on the wagon ride and to any of the outdoor areas of the farm. We do ask that dogs not come in the Roosteraunt & Farm Market buildings per VA Dept of Ag. rules about dogs in food preparation and storage areas .
- Feel free to bring a picnic and a blanket to toss on a shady spot to enjoy your lunch. Picnic tables are a hot commodity and fill up quickly. Our Roosteraunt Concession Stand is open Tuesdays- Fridays from 11am-3pm. Saturday & Sundays hours are 11am-5pm for pies, apple dumplings.
“Wine” a Little! No other Pumpkin Patch has a Winery & Craft Brewery sister properties that offer 10% off craft beverages with your wristband. For a less crowded tasting experience, START your day with lunch at one of these mountain locations above the farm and then pumpkins in the late afternoon when the farm starts to slow down. Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing are also open until 8pm on Fridays so you can pick pumpkins on Friday afternoons and then grab dinner with your favorite Craft Beverage.
- Cider Donuts are made Tuesdays- Sundays. Don’t miss this fall treat! The “Donut Craze” happens at 2pm on weekends when our machine has trouble keeping up with demand so buy yours before 2pm so you have them before you leave for the day.
Dress for picking with sun screen, hats and closed toed shoes. Be sure to check for ticks when you get home and put your pumpkin patch clothes in the laundry rather than a hamper in your bedroom.
Ahhh, the smell of ripe strawberries lingers in the air as one of the most wonderful times of the year has arrived. The short 3-week strawberry season is upon us and it’s time to head to your favorite pick your own farm to snag some of these sweet harbingers of summer. Most of us are accustomed to strawberries from the grocery that were shipped in from far away places and picked perhaps a bit early to ensure smooth travels. Local strawberries are a totally different experience. You are selecting each one yourself at the peak of perfection. They are ripe and red totally through and filled with flavor beyond comparison.
Here are 5 tips to make your strawberry picking experience the best!
- Pick on a weekday when strawberry availability is at it’s peak. Strawberries ripen over time and supplies are best mid-week.
- Arrive right when the farm opens on weekends. Since the demand for local strawberries far exceeds the capacity of local production, most farms are picked early on weekends. Follow your favorite farms on social media for updates on picking conditions throughout the day.
- Local Berries are Fragile. Eat your strawberries or freeze them within 24 hours of picking. Most local berries are grown for flavor rather than shipping so they will not last like those in the grocery.
- Dress for Picking You’re visiting a working farm so close-toed shoes, sun hat and sunscreen are in order. A red shirt is a good idea for the kids in case any juice drips from a sample.
- Please pay for your Strawberries before eating them. It’s hugely tempting to eat strawberries while picking, but please keep in mind that the strawberry patch is really the Farmer’s Market and your farmer’s livelihood. Strawberries are sold by the pound at most farms so you will need to weigh and pay before you enjoy.
Peak strawberry picking conditions should last though the first weekend of June this year. Great Country Farms’ strawberries are $2.99/lb plus farm admission for a full day of Family Fun on the Farm. Join us for our Strawberry Jubilee Festival Weekends. May 28, 29, June 4 & 5!
On Tuesday, Janell, Bruce, Nick, Wes and I gathered in the tap room to generate label content for the two beers we’ll be bottling soon. We sniffed and sipped and savored and threw out all the words we could think of. Here’s the result of that brainstorm:
Work Session IPA
We call it “Work,” but it goes down like a long vacation. Consider it a tribute to our way of life here on the farm: we work and play surrounded by our family and friends, and this beer honors both of those activities. Cascade and Chinook hops give this all-day beer a floral nose and a grapefruit note in the mouth. Clean and refreshing, with low ABV so it won’t dull your senses — no wonder it’s our best seller!
Tart 31 Cherry Ale
Secondary fermentation with Montmorency cherries — 31 pounds per keg — gives this ale the clear red color of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. You taste this one fast, with the cherry note popping at the front of your mouth — not the syrupy flavor of added cherry extract, but the fresh burst of tart spring juice. This farm-to-pint brew offers a new way to enjoy the bounty of our prolific orchard, and the Chinook hops in this ale grow here on the farm as well, so it really delivers the taste of home that Dorothy hopes for when she clicks her heels.