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Originally published October 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Page modified October 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM

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It's harvest time at pumpkin patches

Pumpkins and other farm activities in October throughout the Puget Sound region.

Seattle Times staff

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what a great article--"if" you live on the Eastside or in Bellevue. MORE

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A profusion of pumpkins in every size and color beckons visitors to farms around the region in October. Whether you prefer your pumpkins au naturel for indoor or outdoor display, carved into Halloween jack o'lanterns, baked into pie or used as soup bowls, it's a great time to visit a pumpkin patch.

A scenic drive in the country is often part of the charm of a farm visit, but closer-in options are available. City pumpkin farms include Fairbank Animal and Pumpkin Farm in Edmonds, a longtime local favorite for families with young children. It has a harvest theme, lots of animals and a Tiny Tot Maize Maze. Serres Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Redmond has a variety of pumpkins, a corn maze, and hayrides on weekends. This Saturday only, pumpkins are available at Kelsey Creek Farm's Farm Fair, a bit of the country in the heart of Bellevue (see "Festivals/Expos" in Community Datebook for details).

Take a scenic drive through the Cascade foothills to destinations including Carnation's Remlinger Farms Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival, with a steam train, pony rides, kiddie rides, a petting farm, Farm Theatre, hay jump, u-pick pumpkin field and food vendors. Remlinger is among farms that charge a fee for unlimited access to attractions; many farms have free admission and separate charges for hayrides, corn mazes and other attractions.

The Snohomish area has several farms, including six hosting the Snohomish Festival of Pumpkins, with lots of information on a website, www.festivalofpumpkins.org. Bailey Family Farm has a u-pick vegetable patch and flower garden in addition to the pumpkin patch, and Stocker Farms offers pumpkin launchers, hay rides and other attractions on weekends, along with a daily pumpkin patch and market.

Some locations provide a quieter day on a working farm, including Gordon Skagit Farms in Mount Vernon, run by the Gordon family since 1932 and featuring pumpkins since 1969. Pick your own pumpkins and apples, or visit the farm's Autumn Market with a variety of squash, gourds and pumpkins, including heirloom varieties. Hot, fresh cider is available.

Prices vary for pumpkins and activities, and some farms are cash-only. Dress for the weather, including appropriate footwear for muddy fields, and leave pets at home. If you're using your pumpkins for carving or cooking, be sure to save the seeds for roasting (toss with melted butter, salt and/or other seasonings, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown). Delicious!

For pumpkin-patch addresses, hours and more details, see "Farm/Harvest Events" in Community Datebook.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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