Farm Festivals for Every Season
BY ELLEN HIATT
Fall brings the colors of sunsets to the fields of the Skykomish, Snohomish and Stillaguamish valleys. All at the foothill of the Cascade Mountain range, glowing orbs of pumpkins in the fields, and stalks of corn shoot high into the sky.
By the time winter sets in, families are donning their mud boots, tossing scarves around their necks, and thinking of hot cider, Santa Claus, and Christmas trees, headed to fields of fir and pine to pick their perfect evergreen. How blessed is the Pacific Northwest?!
Whatever time of year it is, the farms of our valleys prepare year after year to greet locals and visitors.
Agritourism began as an attempt to overcome brutal market realities that brought financial ruin to many small, family owned farms. Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are the norm, with some farms focusing on the daring crowd of thrill seekers and Halloween jump scare enthusiasts.
In 2022, small farmers were particularly hard hit with inhospitable growing conditions. An extraordinarily wet and cool spring delayed planting of all crops, including corn. “Knee high by July” – that’s the mantra for growing corn. By July some fields were lucky to be a foot high!
“Our small farms don’t have the protections that commodity growers, like soybean and corn farmers, have,” said Linda Neunzig, Snohomish County’s Agriculture Coordinator.
All this to say that supporting local farms, whether at the summer or holiday season farmer’s markets or by showing up for a corn maze, is nurturing the soil in which we all grow as a community. And don’t worry, that corn will be high enough for a walk-about through an intricately designed, GPS-tractor guided maze by October!
The small but mighty Legacy Farm Festival is back for a second year, joining the ranks of some more established farm festival venues.
They “are adding some new areas for people to walk through, adding more tractor rides like a narrated adventure train corn maze, and a new kids area with an animal race track,” wrote Jason Waltman in an email.
“October 29-30 will be the Northwest Harvest Carnival hosted at our farm. Lots of Halloween fun, costume contests, family games, carnival games, etc. We are hoping to get a great community turn out with lots of booths giving candy and possibly a fall concert on our main stage!”
The Skykomish and Snohomish Valleys hold the bulk of the festivals and pumpkin patches, with a few in the Snohomish and Snoqualmie valleys, as well. Some are small pumpkin patches, others are full festivals. Check them all out!
- PJ’s Pumpkin Patch https://www.facebook.com/people/PJs-Pumpkin-Patch/100027792293998/ 28924 Fern Bluff Rd., Monroe
- Thomas Family Farms www.thomasfamilyfarm.com 9010 Marsh Rd., Snohomish
- Stocker Farms stockerfarms.com 8705 Marsh Rd., Snohomish
- Novelty Hill Farm noveltyhillfarm.com 26617 Northeast 124th St., Duvall
- Craven Farm www.cravenfarm.com13817 Shorts School Rd., Snohomish
- Baylor Farm 28511 Ben Howard Rd., Monroe
- Remlinger – Carnation remlingerfarms.com 32610 NE 32nd St., Carnation
Christmas Tree Farms
The Puget Sound Christmas Tree Association hosts a useful, interactive map for you to find your perfect holiday tree.