Visiting a farm or a fruit orchard can be a great autumn day trip for any family, and for many living in most parts of the United States (perhaps not the Southwest), a family farm may not be far away, and between the apple orchards, pumpkin patches, a hay ride, and other activities set up and public and family farms, there is all kinds of fun to be had, and as a bonus, the apples and pumpkins that guests gather are great ingredients for home cooking, and pumpkins and related vegetables like squash can double as decorations for Thanksgiving or a wedding reception, too, as affordable and classy decor for these events. Farm activities may include other fun such as corn husk dolls, making a quilt, or any other farm activities at a particular locale. For the kids, a farm is a thrilling outdoor adventure, especially for those visiting a farm or orchard for the first time, and for the parents, farm activities are a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and also get some fresh, authentic ingredients for baking pies.
Farm activities in autumn will naturally include harvesting ingredients like apples, pumpkins, and any other crop that the farm has on its fields, and kids can have a great time using ladders (with supervision) to learn how to pick these fruits and find the best ones, and of course any child would love to find the perfect, ripe pumpkin in a pumpkin patch to take home for a jack-o-lantern. Apples, in particular, are a flexible and popular ingredient around the world for all sorts of recipes. Globally, over 7,500 varieties of this fruit are grown, and in the United States alone, 2,500 of those types of apples can be found. Pies are a popular way to use these apples; about two pounds of them are needed for one nine inch pie, but they are easily affordable, and baking pies at home is a great idea for just about anybody. It’s a popular choice, too; a survey found that the top three most popular pie flavors were apple, at 47%, pumpkin at 37%, and chocolate cream at 32%. Similarly, the American Pie Council and Crisco launched a recent survey and asked Americans what dessert they would most want to give a friend or family member for holiday dinner, and pie was the top choice, at 29%. So, baking apples and pumpkins into pie is a sure-fire way to cheer up someone’s holiday.
More snacks and desserts are possible, too. Apple fritters and baked apples are also popular ways to cook these fruits, and they can also be mashed into applesauce, which can then be stored in jars. Pumpkins, meanwhile, cannot be eaten as-is like apples can, but they also find a way onto the dinner table. Along with apple pie, pumpkin pie is a popular, even iconic choice for Thanksgiving in the United States, often paired with whipped cream. Also, it is a popular option to bake pumpkin seeds, sometimes with salt, in the oven and eat them as simple, healthy, affordable snacks.
What else can apples and pumpkins be used for? They are attractive as well as edible, and when farm activities include picking these fruits, more creative adults can get them to use as decoration, such as Thanksgiving table decor for a more authentic atmosphere, and since autumn is a fairly popular time for weddings (behind spring and summer but ahead of winter), they can serve as rustic, authentic decoration at any wedding reception, such as being placed in wicker baskets or cornucopias, and they can be placed on dinner tables, at a buffet table, or on the windowsills of an indoor reception.
This authentic, rustic vibe is even easier at an actual farm, rather than bringing baskets of small pumpkins to a reception hall in one’s home town. Farm activities for adults can mean hosting the wedding ceremony and reception on any farm that welcomes them, and this means that a lot of decor is already in place, and the barn (once cleaned out) can make for a great locale for the ceremony and/or the reception. Going in autumn can make for a great atmosphere, when harvest is underway.