A Pumpkin Pickin’ We Will Go

I’m trying to decide if Fall is the Cowichan Valley’s best season. Spring has its merits (especially when crocuses pop up at the end of January — gives one hope that the end of Winter is near). Summer too, thanks to many nearby swimming holes. But with Fall’s harvest, and the orange leaves littering the lanes, lit by sun streaming through the morning mist: it’s picture perfect.

Speaking of perfect pictures….

Picking pumpkins

One of my favourite Fall days last year was our trip to Catherine Young’s Abbey Lane Farm Pumpkin Patch. The kids dressed in their Halloween costumes (which in itself inspired gleeful bum wiggles) and we toured the farm on a horse-drawn cart while trying to spot the pumpkin-headed scarecrows hiding out along the track. The pumpkin catapult was set up, but we didn’t get the chance to see it in action. I’ll look forward to that this year.

Spot the hidden pumpkin

The kids picked their favourite pumpkin in the patch; each one weighed more than the kid who chose it. Afterwards, we were enchanted by the variety of pumpkins on offer at the farm’s pumpkin stand. Small ones, huge ones, blue ones, white ones, and (everyone’s favourite) gnarly ones. Who knew there were so many kinds of pumpkin?

Pumpkin Patch

Little Miss Pumpkin Patch

We returned home with six pumpkins. On their own they made gorgeous decorations, but add a pair of eyes, a nose and a crooked mouth (along with a few spiders webs, early-morning fog and dew), and these pumpkins set the tone for a haunting month.

Did you know? Pumpkin is a fruit, not a vegetable. Do any of you smartypantses know why (without Googling it first!)?

How to get there


  1. I believe it’s a fruit because it has seeds in it. Like that other weird “fruit”, tomatoes. 🙂

    We’re hoping to get to Abby Lane next week!! Maybe we’ll see you there. 😉

  2. How wonderful! This can only mean one thing: pumpkin season is upon us… and with it a whole delightful month of wonderful, fun, delicious AND scary things.
    Maeve, thanks for setting the tone… and starting off the season with a tour to Abby Lane Farm – my favourite pumpkin farm in the whole wide world (not just in the Cowichan Valley)! You simply must return to see the catapult in action.

    1. Is this not one of the best months to live here? And with sunny weather this weekend it’ll be a perfect time to go. I just noticed they recommend booking the carriage ride in advance. It’s getting popular!!

  3. The catapult will get my husband there and me there for the gnarly ones and some to cook too.
    Roasted Pumpkin seeds: soak pumpkin seeds in very salty water overnight,drain, toast in one layer on a cookie sheet…..in the oven until crispy..350F….10 -15 mins
    Baking the pumpkin will give you the best treat to eat for a ( sorry)…. as a vegetable/fruit and baking will make the pumpkin flesh great to scoop and use for pie!
    We’ve never been to Abby farm but this year we we’ll go for sure!

    1. Thanks for the recipe Ruth! Now I know what to do with the slimy things when we empty out the pumpkins. Not sure I like pumpkin pie though…maybe I’ll use it for soup instead!

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