STOCKTON — There’s a pumpkin patch out there that may be ideal for young children.
Countryside Farms at 6666 E. Main St. in Stockton caters specifically to those between the ages of 2 through 10.
More often than not, children will discover this place while on a school field trip. They might remember it since, depending on what’s in season, picking strawberries or cherries on this very location.
Countryside Farms offers hayride tour, a farm yard play area, planting / soil station, and pumpkin and tortilla corn.
Each fall, youngsters can come here and learn first-hand how a pumpkin grows or how corn becomes corn.
“This station takes place in the pumpkin patch and, yes, it’s all about pumpkins, pumpkins, cornstalks, cornstalks,” said those at Countryside Farms.
Once the lesson on pumpkins and corn is complete, children can take turns cranking the corn Sheller and grind corn into corn meal.
When it comes to picking pumpkins, Countryside Farms has plenty of choices, particularly since more and more are added each day from the down-the-road pumpkin field.
Children can ride out that way aboard the hayride tour, which goes through walnut orchards and stops consisting of “old day” harvesting.
The farm yard play area allows youngsters to visit goats, rabbits and chickens in the barn and pasture. Interesting animals include “Bella” the dwarf-pygmy goat and “Curly” the Angora goat. “Dewey” and “Knickers” are the quarter horses in their pasture.
Youngsters can also get an overhead view of Countryside Farms by climbing into the fort or hide out in the Teepee Tunnel.
Finally, children can learn about the different soils at planting / soil stations. They’ll get an education on what to farm at certain times of the year – try watermelon in the spring and summer and sugar snap peas in time for the fall harvest.
At Countryside Farms, this year marks the ninth year of harvest. From northbound Highway 99, take the East Main Street exit and go eastbound for several miles. Countryside Farms is open Friday afternoon from 2 to 5:30; Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $9 for children, $4.50 for adults. For more information call 209-943-1632 or log on to www.countrysidefarms.com