By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
With just 15 days until Halloween, Simona Michaels of Mukilteo figured she had picked the perfect day to go shopping Friday: sunny skies, and eager, but relatively small groups of shoppers making for easy picking in the farm fields brimming with pumpkins.
Michaels and her daughter, Renee, 16, and son, Jeremy, 8, had travelled to Biringer Farm near Everett, loading pumpkins into a wheelbarrow to decorate their home.
“We want different shapes, colors and varieties,” their mom said.
The family had considered making their pumpkin picking trip Saturday, she said, but “I can’t count on this weather tomorrow.”
The farm can get up to 10,000 visitors in the weeks before Halloween, Dianna Biringer said.
Her family’s farm is just one of 16 area farms and pumpkin patches open to the public.
Since opening Oct. 1, this year’s visitors have come from Seattle, Kent, Bellevue, Tacoma, Bellingham and Olympia, she said.
In addition to two pumpkin fields, the farm has three corn mazes to entertain families, along with goats and slides.
“People are pretty hearty in October,” she said. “They come dressed for the weather.”
The corn in the mazes isn’t quite so tall this year because of steady rains until June, which caused farmers to replant the corn, she said.
Rebecca Palmer and her 1-year-old son, Ronin, from Ventura, Calif., had come to visit her brother, Robert Dearen of Everett, when they decided a pumpkin-buying trip was in order.
Ronin’s eyes widened in wonder as his mom gently sat him in a wheelbarrow and surrounded him with some of their choices. “Wow!” he said, as he patted one of the largest ones.
“Thank God they don’t charge by weight,” his mom said.
Courtney Hart, her husband, Don Hart, and their two daughters, 11-month-old Ripley and 3-year-old Chloe, drove up from Seattle to enjoy the fall day.
In addition to picking out some pumpkins, Chloe and her dad walked through a hay maze as mom and younger sister looked on.
“We moved from San Francisco in February,” Courtney Hart said. It was the first “pick your own” pumpkin field the family had been to.
Athena Wright’s two sons, Keninceo Wright, 5, and Augusta Wilrich, 4, could hardly believe the orange bounty surrounding them as they scampered through the fields, trying to find just the right ones to take home.
It was Augusta’s first trip to a pumpkin field, said Wright, who lives in Lynnwood.
“He didn’t’ know what to think,” she said. “Do I pick this one, or this one?”
“I look forward to it every year,” Wright said. “The whole experience makes it even more worthwhile.”
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.