Ottawa Family Fun: Pumpkin picking!

On Sunday morning, I wanted to give the boys a bit of a break from the chaos of half-empty boxes and moving mania so we decided to set off in search of pumpkins. Sure, we could have picked some up at the grocery store, and Farm Boy has some really unusual white pumpkins this year.

But, ever since Tristan was wee and dressed for his first Halloween in an adorable baby pumpkin costume, we’ve been making an event of pumpkin acquisition. There was a farm out at Cedarview and Strandherd for a few years, and we’ve been to the Abbeyhill Farms stand on old highway 16 for the last few years. This year, we discovered the wonderful pick-yer-own pumpkin patch at Miller’s Farm and Market – another one of Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures!

Conveniently, Miller’s is just up the road from us, on Rideau Valley Drive just south of Manotick. It’s a great little place! You can choose a pre-picked pumpkin from the selection near the parking lot, or pony up $1 per person and hop on a tractor-pulled hay wagon for a ride back to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own.

Pumpkin picking 2010 3

The kids loved the ride out to the pumpkin patch, and I loved the idea of actually wandering through the patch, stepping over vines and inspecting fat orange beauties for just the perfect pumpkin. Speaking of beauties, here’s mine on the hay wagon.

Pumpkin picking 2010-2

I’d promised that we’d get three pumpkins, one for each boy. But, Beloved had to work on Sunday, and I simply couldn’t figure out how we’d keep three boys (at least one of whom posed a flight risk) AND three heavy pumpkins from rolling off the edge of the open-sided wagon. Not to mention getting three boys and three heavy pumpkins OFF the wagon and into the car! So, despite finding three perfect pumpkins in the field, we “picked” only one and chose two more suitable candidates from the pre-picked selection adjacent to the parking lot.

Pumpkin picking 2010

The staff at Miller’s were amazing. When I staggered to the “checkout” to pay for my pumpkins with one arm holding a fat, ripe beauty and another holding Lucas by the collar of his jacket, the pleasant cashier was happy to let me pay for three pumpkins sight unseen and trust me to choose the appropriate size when loading them into my car. And the prices are very reasonable — the pumpkins in the picture above would have been in the $4 to $5 range.

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In addition to pumpkins, Miller’s offers a selection of fresh produce and products including mums, apples, cider, pears, squash, gourds, ornamental corn, straw bales, corn stalks, turnips, onions, potatoes, fresh garlic, sweet corn and even cut sunflowers, and there’s a little gift shop on site, too. There’s also a corn maze and hay bales for jumping — fun stuff!

If you’re looking for a lovely expedition into the country and a great way to support local farmers while entertaining the family, I can’t say enough nice things about Miller’s Farm and Market. They’re worth the drive to Manotick!

If you go:
Miller’s Farm and Market is at 6158 Rideau Valley Drive, less than 3 km south of the village of Manotick. Hayrides are on weekends only, but the Farm is open every day.

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

5 thoughts on “Ottawa Family Fun: Pumpkin picking!”

  1. What a nice family outing and what a lovely review of Miller’s. Have fun carving those three perfect pumpkins for Halloween!

  2. 😆 The pumpkins are almost as big as your kids! Cute!

    Never been to a pumpkin field. I’m such a city girl…

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