Monday, October 11, 2010

The Great Pumpkin(s) & Having Room to Grow

I'm not a photographer; I leave that difficult work to my much-more-competent-&-creative friend Wild & Crazy Pearl. But speaking of her, I went to a place today that she would've loved - Szalay's Sweet Corn Farm. In fact, as my mom & I wandered around the grounds, I could just imagine W&CP's blog post in the making, if she were the one in my shoes, & I thus felt compelled to take an abundance of photos, as she would do.

I know what you're thinking - "Sweet corn farm?" - & maybe you're rolling your eyes. And I know what comes next, too: A) "How hillbilly!" and/or B) "Dude, it's just corn." But dude, it's NOT just corn. And last I checked, there's nothing hillbilly about the locally grown food movement. Fancy big-city folks are always tryin' to jump on the locally grown wagon, right? But it's tough to farm amidst high-rises. Here in Ohio, where there's farmland a'plenty (I technically live in a city, I swearrr), we've got room to grow.

Szalay's sells everything from gigantron pumpkins to apricot jam to bags of pistachos to imported figs, which are not grown locally (refer back to the word "imported").

 

Approximately eleventy billion people were visiting Szalay's while my mom & I were there, making a slow browse nearly impossible. Still, we made our rounds & loaded up a basket of goodies - cherry tomatoes, a red onion, a huge cucumber, two avocados, a bag of snap peas, a block of pepper jack cheese, a loaf of homemade bread, a bag of Kettle Corn, apple cider &, um, a small caramel that I ate on the spot - for less than $26. Have I mentioned that a trip to the market in D.C. often cost $25 for just, like, crackers, cheese & Coke?

And there were pumpkins! Ohhh, were there pumpkins. My mom, however, seems to have instituted a new Halloween rule in my absence: No pumpkins on the front porch. It's too depressing when they're stolen or smashed, she says, so they only go on the back porch. But carved pumpkins are for showing off! My ego refused to allow me to carve a masterpiece of a pumpkin only to relegate it to the back porch, so I passed them up.

My favorite part of the afternoon was when a little girl, about 9 years old, took a seat atop a massive pumpkin & yelled out to her father, "I FOUND THE PERFECT PUMPKIN! It's only $32." She yelled it about four times before her dad came over & sighed one of those deep, fatherly sighs: "We can't..." He starts again. "It's a good one! But... we can't even fit that inside the car. No, let's pick one out over here." Nice try, kiddo. (I totally remember attempting the same let's-get-a-giant-pumpkin maneuver on my own parents at her age.)


Of course, like any kitschy Midwestern joint worth its Halloweentime salt, there was a faux graveyard, this time complete with a skeleton band. Just beyond it was a corn maze, complete with screaming children (which are my own definition of scary, no Halloween needed).

In all? We had fun:

I recognize that this post isn't exactly bringing in the high entertainment that I promised I'd continue to deliver post-D.C. But come on. THERE WERE PUMPKINS.

17 comments:

Emily GOodstein said...

THESE PHOTOS ARE AMAZING! Well done HS. And thanks for the shout out :)

christinaanne said...

Oh, you have no idea how happy this makes me. I adore fall and everything that comes with it!

Traci Arbios said...

Thing the first: Eleventy billion IS a number. Thing the second: Your post makes me want to go visit a farm so badly. Not a stupid parking lot filled with pumpkins, but an actual pumpkin FARM. Searching for one to commence in 3..2...1...

Jaclyn Y said...

OK, I'm totally digging on the muted colors in your pics.

piper van buskirk said...

Skeleton Band! AHAHA! I love it. This is so Nebraska as well - there are tons of "pumpkin patches" and other types of farms that are seriously fun to to go to. It just seems like the thing to do in the autumn months. Looks like you had fun - your pictures are awesome!

Good Girl Gone Blog said...

your mom is adorable!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

I love those last 2 pics- so fun/funny! :)

Krystal/Village said...

I've never heard of a sweet corn farm, and now i want to go!

Kristin & Megan said...

What a FUN place! We went to a fall festival this weekend, but it wasn't nearly as cool.

Allison said...

oh, how I have to get myself to Patterson's this week!

Awmber said...

YOU ARE SO FREAKING ADORABLE. I love fall, and recently decided that October is my favourite month of the year. Your pictures are so pretty! And that pumpkin story was hilarious.

Capow said...

Hey! I saw your comment on my feature over at femmenamala. My intention wasn't to offend any one who has gone through with spinal fusion! I'm sorry if you were put off by what I said. I do understand that for some people it is a life saving choice, and I would love to hear your story!!

xoxo,
Crystal
windshielddiaries@gmail.com

steph anne said...

I love fall and this post just got me more excited for Halloween (carving pumpkins, haunted houses, etc).

Skinny Dip said...

This post reminded me of how much fun I used to have at Halloween when I was a kid. I remember one year, I carved two pumpkins to look like Bert & Ernie :)

kylaroma said...

It looks like an amazing time! :)

Brittney said...

First off, I love ALL your photos (and I feel the pain, I kind of suck with my camera and get all intimidated and then don’t wanna post stuff) – SECOND, I need your pumpkin mart in Texas. It looks so, so, so terribly adorable and I love corn. I get excited driving by corn fields, for petes sake. (I’m… troubled).

terra said...

I had to do a double take at the "less than $26" - that's an awesome good deal. I'm all for local food because I believe, 110%, that is just plain tastes better. Especially if I can pick it from my own backyard...

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