After much consideration, I think October may be my favorite Indiana month. There is so much to do, and so many ways to celebrate fall in central Indiana, I actually schedule it all in so we don’t miss anything (Calendars. It’s what I do). October is a big month for agrotourism in Indiana and all across the midwest- it’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ endless labor.
There’s pumpkins and corn mazes and apple picking and so many hayrides it’s hard to keep track. I love bringing the kids outside in this long pants-short sleeve weather, where they can soak up the sun and marvel at the change of seasons
This year, we took the kids to a real pumpkin patch- a field where pumpkins were actually growing on the vine. They wandered happily for nearly an hour, exploring the field, moving the pumpkins around and generally soaking it all in. There is something about being in the moment, being in the place where food is grown, that is centering in a way nothing else is. To find a pumpkin patch near you, check out My Indiana Home’s Pumpkin directory.
We also made it to a corn maze, where they trekked for another hour. Not only was it an adventure, it was a good lesson in the way our food depends on the weather. Last year, the maze was lush and green, with stalks so thick there was no cutting through. This year, the stalks were short, thin, and dry. The corn that did grow was unusable, and there were bald spots in the maze where nothing grew at all. While they may be a little thinner than in years past, it’s still fun to get lost in a field. Find a corn maze near you using My Indiana Home’s Corn Maze directory.
My son had the thrill of apple picking for the first time with my parents. We typically shop at the store rather than a farm market, and by doing so, I think we’ve forgotten what fresh produce tastes like. When I bit into that Rome apple grown in northwest Indiana, my mouth was shocked at the flavor. So delicious. Because they are detail oriented, the kids have had a great time taste-testing apples this season- in a blind taste test, they know the difference between a Golden Delicious, a Gala, and everyone’ most favorite, the Honeycrisp. For everything apple, check out My Indiana Home’s Apple Page.
For a list of seasonal crops and where to pick them, see this handy pdf: http://www.in.gov/isda/files/Harvest_Calander.pdf.
Thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers Table Talk program for providing me with some fall-themed goodies, passes to Kelsay’s Fall Fun on the Farm and handy information about Indiana’s agrotourism. October is also National Pork Month- can you say BACON? Learn more on Indiana’s Family of Farmers website, and connect with them socially @FamilyofFarmers and www.facebook.com/familyoffarmers.
**While my blog undergoes a little maintenance, I’m invading BgK’s space here. It’s kind of like how my clothes inch over to his side of the closet, and toiletries migrate on the vanity. Thanks, babe. ~Michelle (aka, Gotchababy)