Residents from throughout Merced County are making their way to Vista Ranch and Cellars’ annual Pumpkin Patch as they prepare for Halloween and other fall festivities.
The local attraction is renowned for its selection of colorful fall items that are grown on site. This years selection included 88 varieties of pumpkins — including a new rare heirloom Yokohama squash from Japan, Cinderella and fairy tale pumpkins, winter and acorn squash, Native American corn, bundles of wheat, Jarrahdale pumpkins, and more.
Staff and farmers with Vista Ranch and Cellars pride themselves on their eco-friendly and natural growing methods used at the farm, which allows residents to put the produce to good use following their display.
Those who purchase Vista’s featured pumpkin and squash items are encouraged by staff members to make use of them by creating pies and meals following the holidays. Vista Ranch has an on-site chef cooking up dishes with the locally grown pumpkins and squash should customers need ideas for how to best utilize the produce throughout its lifespan.
Pricing for the pumpkin patch starts at $1 for the smallest mini-pumpkins and runs up on a per-pound basis for different varieties, with large pumpkins tilting the scales at 46 pounds.
However the biggest and most expensive pumpkins have yet to be harvested and placed in the patch. According to staff, the average standard carving pumpkin comes in around $8 to $13 depending on variety and size.
Vista Ranch and Cellars is located at 7326 East Highway 140 in Merced. Those looking to make their way to the pumpkin patch can do so seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., with restocking of the pumpkin patch taking place on Wednesdays. In addition to the family and pet-friendly pumpkin patch, families can enjoy fresh made brick-fired pizza on the weekends from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and adults can take advantage of the wine tasting room 7 days a week from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.