The Great Pumpkin Patch

Growing up, I never thought I would get to live next to the Great Pumpkin Patch.

Imagine my delight the first year I watched the pumpkins grow and change colour in the field behind our house. Magically, they appeared through the leaves and began to glow in orange and pink tones.

Now, that we are almost at Halloween, I feel just like Linus, excited to see if the Great Pumpkin will land and visit us.

OK, so I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to holidays and getting in the spirit. Well, why not? Life is busy, and mostly serious. Look deep down in your soul... Don’t you want a bit of silliness to creep in, once in a while?

Living on the Westside at the edge of Westbank, we have agricultural land all around us. Paynter’s Fruit Market is just down the road. But throughout the Okanagan there are pockets like this with orchards and fields and vineyards. 

Farm markets are not a rare thing in our part of the world, and the end of the harvest season is our last chance to enjoy them.

You may already have your pumpkin for Halloween, all set up for carving into a suitable Jack O’Lantern. But you could take a trip out to visit the fields, pick an apple off a tree or even out of a bin, polish it off on your shirt and sample the crisp taste of fall.

Or pile the kids in the car and let them run in an orchard. Take some family photos with all the fall colours. Doesn’t that sound more fun than a trip to Walmart or Safeway?

Every season deserves respect. As I wrote about a month ago, fall often takes me by surprise. Therefore, I feel it deserves a proper toast to send it off before I prepare for winter. So my final gesture of the growing season is to stop by at Paynter’s Market and get a pumpkin for roasting and apples for baking.

I enjoy the beautiful view as I share an apple with the dogs (they shouldn’t eat the seeds, so they can’t have a whole one.)  I highly recommend it. Your soul will thank you, and so will your local farmer.

I have given you references for places to go; if you need a simple recipe, how about Apple Phyllo Strudel Cups? This one is dairy free, nut free and kid-tested. You can treat yourself to a taste of fall and not even feel guilty.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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