Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch
October 13, 2012Posted by pamela |
McClelland's Dairy, a family-run certified organic dairy located just west of Petaluma, is a relative newcomer to the North Bay pumpkin patch circuit. Actually, that's only partly true—they last had a pumpkin patch on the farm a decade ago, and decided last year to revive this October tradition.
Compared to other pumpkin patches around Petaluma, McClelland's is a low-key affair, but that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of fun. It's just a slower, gentler fun.
Keep an eye out for their signs as you head down Bodega Road into the Two Rock area west of Petaluma. Turn into the dirt driveway and follow over a little bridge to the dairy farm. On your left you'll see a three-acre pumpkin field where you're welcome to go hunt for that perfect Halloween pumpkin.
In addition to u-pick pumpkins, there's a small bounce house, a hay maze, a big box full or oat seeds (perfect for digging—buckets and shovels provided) and a pen where you can meet some gentle and friendly farm animals, including goats, calves, a bunny, and chicks. Don't miss the large arrangement of pumpkins, squash, gourds, and straw bales—it's perfect for a family photo op.
When you're ready to go pick pumpkins, grab a wheelbarrow and head out to the field. You'll find pumpkins in a variety of different sizes and colors. Prices range from $2 for small examples to $25 for giant orange monsters. Make sure you check out the big chicken tractor when you're out in the pumpkin field, too.
Make sure you visit the little farm store, which is where you pay for your pumpkins. In addition to shopping for organic dairy products like McClelland's highly regarded European-style organic butter, free range eggs, ice cream, snacks, and McClelland's Dairy merchandise, you can look through a large window and watch cows being milked in the parlor. There's another viewing window in the building adjacent to the farm store where you can get a different view of the milking operation. This was a big hit with the kids and they really enjoyed watching the goings-on.
If you want to learn even more about the goings-on on the farm, dairy tours will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. On the tours, you can learn about the history of the farm and how animals are cared for, pet babies in the nursery, and even try milking a cow by hand. Farm tours cost $15 for visitors ages 13 years and older, $7 for children 4–12, and are free for ages 3 and under. Reserve your farm tour spots online, since tours often sell out.
You can spend the whole day out on the farm—grab a BBQ lunch, go on a farm tour, hunt for pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, and more. It's a great addition to the fall pumpkin patch lineup, and a lot of fun to visit.
If You Go
McClelland's Dairy is located at 6475 Bodega Avenue, just outside Petaluma. To get there, take Highway 101 to the East Washington Street exit in Petaluma. Turn left (west) at the stop light and follow East Washington Street west. Washington Street becomes Bodega Avenue. Keep following Bodega Avenue west and keep an eye out for McClelland's pumpkin patch signs; they'll let you know when you're getting close.
Drinks and snacks and souvenirs are sold in the farm store, and BBQ lunches are available for purchase on the farm during pumpkin patch season.
The pumpkin patch is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am–6 pm through the month of October, weather permitting. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.mcclellandsdairy.com or call (707) 664-0452. You can also keep up with pumpkin patch happenings on their Facebook page.