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Stories from the valley

5 unexpected reasons to hit this prolific pumpkin patch

Contributed by Jennifer Harrison

October is upon us with all its pumpkin glory and Bishop’s Pumpkin farm in the Sacramento Valley certainly delivers.  Nestled in Wheatland, the Bishop family has been growing pumpkins for over forty years.  In talking with Austin Bishop, I realized this is far more than a simple pumpkin patch.  Here are 5 unexpected reasons to make your way to Bishop’s before October ends.

Pumpkin 3

1.  Flowers

Take a relaxing walk through a sea of sunflowers; the sunflower labyrinth is calming and beautiful all at once.  Bishop’s boosts a flower farm too.  You can even cut your own bouquet!

Pumpkin 2

2.  Fantastic Food

From corn dogs and turkey legs to garlic fries and pizza, you won’t leave this place hungry.  The bakery is a must hit—with homemade pies, goodies and fudge galore.

3.  Ag Education

Pig races, tractor displays and even bathroom signs that offer a vocabulary lesson (you better know if fillies are boys or girls), Bishop’s teaches a thing or two about food and farming.  Field trips are a hit here, with 10-12,000 school children making their way to the patch every year; they take every opportunity to introduce agriculture to all.

Pink Pumpkin

4.  Pumpkins for a cause

The Bishop family grows 95-acres of pumpkins, gourds and squash, and they estimate that over 200,000 pumpkins leave this place.  They grow 50 different varieties, and portions of the sales of the pink porcelain, a pumpkin with a rosy hue, go to benefit breast cancer awareness.

5.  Get air bound!

Hunt for your perfect pumpkin while zip lining through the air.  Bishop’s has a 200-foot zip line for the thrill seeker among us.  If you’d rather stay on the ground, take a trip back in history on a restored 1958 carousel that welcomes visitors big and small.