By Dominique Marshall
My family has made it an annual tradition to go to the pumpkin patch at Aloun Farms ever since I was a baby. Unfortunately for us, our tradition may not pull through this year because Aloun Farms has decided to cancel the event for the safety of its’ guests. Although it is not the same as Aloun Farms, Waimanalo Country Farm will have to suffice in order to keep our tradition alive! However, that is not the only pumpkin patch on the island and Waimanalo Country Farm thought of another way to have it while still following all of the restrictions.
The solution to this was to have a drive-thru pumpkin patch, which included an audio-guided tour of the farm from the comfort of your car and 20 minutes in the pumpkin patch to take pictures and pick your pumpkin.
When I first heard about it, I was a little skeptical because one of my favorite things about going is being able to walk up to the fields to explore what they had to offer. Being from Hawaii, it is really difficult to get into the fall spirit because we don’t experience the leaves changing colors and the weather getting colder. Going to the pumpkin patch is one of the best ways to get us into the spirit of Fall.
While scrolling through Instagram, I noticed that a lot of people started posting about the drive-thru pumpkin patch so I decided to look into it. In order to go, you have to make a reservation online, where you choose the time, date, and how many people are in the car. It costs $10 per person and the maximum amount of people that you can have per car is 5. This event runs until Oct. 31.
When you first arrive at the farm, you check-in and are given a form to fill out for their market along with a QR code to scan. The price of admission includes a choice of a flavored lemonade or sweet tea. Once your time slot comes, are given the okay to continue, you begin the audio tour. The first stop is one of the most popular, the patch to pick your pumpkin!
The area that they had set for the patch was laid out perfectly and it was very easy to social distance from other parties. Aside from social distancing, the strictest rule was taking the first pumpkin you touched, which was very different from a normal pumpkin picking because I normally pick it up and examine it fully to make sure that it is the perfect one. So I had to change my tactic this year and go based on just how they look from afar. Although it was a different experience from previous years, it still brought back all of the good memories with my family.
After spending 20 minutes getting your photos and picking your pumpkin, you head to the exit and purchase the pumpkin for $10, you get back into the car and drive to another big tractor wheel to scan another QR code to continue the tour. It goes through the complete farm showcasing different parts of it from the animals to the other plants that they grow. It was interesting to hear the history of the farm and how many generations it has gone through. Being able to have an audio tour was a great touch to the whole experience because although we had to stay in our cars and avoid socializing it made us still feel like we were connected to the family who owns the farm.
At the end of the tour is the country market where you pick up the items you ordered on the form you got in the beginning. They offer different types of items from sweet corn to smaller pumpkins. All of the items ordered here are excluded from the price of admission. The prices range from $8 to $15 depending on the item.
Overall the whole experience went smoothly and was fun for all members of the family. For more information about the Drive-thru pumpkin patch and other events, visit the Waimanalo Country Farm website.