(Frequently Asked Questions)

~Our mission: Sustainable farming at home and abroad.

~October Fun. Yes! This is Portland's original! The Pumpkin Patch, est 1967.

~Fun fact! We grow over 50 different fruits and vegetables!

How much do the hayrides cost?
FREE!

When do you have hayrides?
Hayrides run Labor Day Weekend and daily in October.
~Labor Day Weekend: 10-5:45 pm Sat, Sun, Mon.
~October: Saturday and Sunday 10am-5:45pm. Monday-Friday 12-5:45pm.

How much is the haymaze and hay pyramid?
These, of course, are always FREE, TOO! (Available in September and October.)

Are family pets allowed on the farm?
No. In order to keep our crops clean and safe to eat, please do not bring your pets to the farm.
Oregon laws and USDA restrictions prohibit pets in our buildings and fields.

What all do you offer in October?
It's like a county fair out here! A bountiful produce market full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as pumpkin carving kits, fall decor (cornstalks, gourds, haybales, and indian corn), and other goodies. The cafe is open daily and serves hot buttered corn, hot drinks, and Pulled Pork sandwiches on Saturdays and Sundays. The Pumpkin Cottage giftshop is open daily with "pumpkin" goodies, specialty gifts, Christmas goods, and holiday items galore! The free activities include: the Animal Barn, the Giant Hay Maze, the Giant Hay Pyramid and the daily hay rides to the pumpkin fields. Get Lost! In Portland's original corn maize, and ride the Cow Train.

How can I find out more information about fieldtrips for children?
To make a reservation or inquire more about this service, please call (503) 621-3874 between 10 AM and 6 PM daily.
Fieldtrips run Monday through Friday from 9 AM to Noon during October (except statewide inservice days - no fieldtrips, but we will still have free hayrides 10-5:45pm) . When arriving at the farm, look for our friendly hosts in front of the big, red Animal Barn for instructions. Our fieldtrips are both fun and educational for the children as well as the adult sponsors. They include a hayride with a live tour of the farm, a visit to a special pumpkin field where the children will be able to pick one to take home, and they will be able to play on our gigantic hay pyramid and haymaze. For an additional fee, you can add on an adventurous trek through the cornmaze. The children go home with goodies including their pumpkin, a sticker, a bookmark and an apple.

Does the Pumpkin Patch offer any Birthday Packages?
We do not provide birthday party packages, however, many do celebrate their birthdays at our farm enjoying our many activities. We do offer first come-first serve seating in the picnic area on the front lawn by the Patio Cafe. You are welcome to bring your own cake and supplies for your party. You can also pre-pay for script from the Produce Market that can be used by your guests to ride the Cow Train (weekends in October), pay for pumpkins (in October) or to purchase items in our Market and Giftshop. The Patio Cafe also offers their own script for purchasing food items they have available. You also have the option of pre-purchasing tickets at The Maize ticket booth or online at www.portlandmaze.com.

Our Return Policy:
Unopened packaged goods may be returned for store credit, with receipt, within one week of purchase.
Produce may returned for store credit, with receipt, within 24 hours of purchase.


~Farm Facts

How many acres do you farm?
About 800. The acreage is used for wholesale and retail fresh market produce.

I've heard the name Delta Farms and have seen it in the grocery stores on certain produce. Is that name related to your farm?
Yes, Delta Farms is the wholesale name we use to sell our products that go to the grocery stores and to produce houses. We are known as The Pumpkin Patch for our retail business.

Is this a family farm?
Yes, the Pumpkin Patch has been in business for over 45 years and continues its traditions with the second generation of farmers.

How do I get to Sauvie Island?
From Portland, take HWY 30 West until you come to the Sauvie Island bridge. After going over the bridge, be sure to turn left and loop back under it. Go two miles, look for the Big Red Animal barn, and you'll see us!

When do you open and close?
We open in June as soon as strawberries are ready and close the first week of November after we have sold the last of the year's fresh produce. We also are open every holiday between June- October. Our hours are 9-6 daily. We have extended October hours. See our October activity page.

At the end of the season, where does all your extra produce go?
Surprisingly here at the Pumpkin Patch, surplus is not a problem. Every bit of produce we grow and harvest goes to a good home; either to our customers, to the large varieties of charities we support, or to our animals (if its not consumable).

Where can I find your coupons?
Look for 'Coupons' on our website and sign up for our email list to receive extra savings!


~Produce and Crops Grown

*Pumpkin Patch practices sustainable agriculture. Certified by The Food Alliance.org*
Produce grown and sold at The Pumpkin Patch carries the Food Alliance seal of approval, which assures consumers of a farm's commitment to environmental responsibility and human resource development. The Food Alliance endorses farms that meet or exceed strict eligibility requirements in three areas: pest and disease management, soil and water conservation and human resource development. Look for The Food Alliance seal of approval in your grocery stores today. You'll find Pumpkin Patch produce under our wholesale name "Delta Farms".

What's the difference in the 3 types of corn you grow?
How Sweet It Is White corn has completely white kernels. It is truly a specialty corn that has the highest sugar content. It is very sweet. Peaches-N-Cream corn has yellow and white kernels. It is a customer favorite and is sweet, but not too sweet. Golden Jubliee Supersweet has all yellow kernels and is a traditional favorite. It, too, is sweet. All three varieties are supersweet varieties, are picked fresh daily, and have a great shelf-life for the customer.

Are gourds for eating?
No, they are for decoration only. They bring color and fun to the fall table. They are often combined with winter squash, which is edible.

How do I dry and decorate the birdhouse gourds you sell?
It's easy. Just set them outside and let them dry naturally. They will get moldy and ugly, but after about two months, they will become brittle and hollow (except for the seeds you hear rattling around). To decorate or paint, just soak the gourd in a solution of ammonia (a small amount) and water, and then scrub. The grime will scrape away easily. Do this a few times until the gourd is completely clean, then paint or decorate as desired. If you use it for a birdhouse, you may want to drill a hole while the gourd is still fresh for putting bird seed into later. These gourds are also used for instruments, holiday creations, and bowls.

I forget from year to year when the crops you grow are ready. How will I find out each season?
Here in Oregon if the weather was predictable, so also would be the time frame on all the crops we grow. Your best bet is to study the Produce Availability Guide, so you have an idea of the month of the crop, then call the farm at (503) 621-3874 or email us at info@thepumpkinpatch for exact details. The harvest only varies by a week or two generally.

How long do strawberries last?
Peak season is usually two weeks from the time they are ready in June.

How do I freeze strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries,etc?
Always use moisture-resistant materials such as glass jars, plastic containers, heavy-duty foil, and clear plastic bags. Gently wash berries in cold water (and hull the strawberries). Place berries on paper towels and pat dry. Place another sheet of paper toweling on a cookie sheet, then place the berries on top in a single layer; freeze. Repack the frozen berries into freezer containers, shaking them down to remove as much air as possible; return to freezer. Berries remain frozen this way, so you can remove small batches at a time.

How do I freeze corn?
Most vegetables can be frozen by blanching in boiling water. We think it's best frozen in kernels. Blanch husked corn for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool quickly in ice water; drain. With sharp knife, cut kernels from cob. Spread on cookie sheet in single layer, and freeze until hard. Transfer to airtight containers or self-sealing, freezer-weight plastic bags, and return to freezer immediately. Frozen kernels will keep up to 3 months.

How do I cook corn?
Remember...the faster the better! Especially with our supersweet varieties of corn! Heat speeds the conversion of sugar into starch; if you leave corn over a flame longer than necessary, it will loose its sweetness. Here are some suggestions:
BOIL: Bring unsalted water to boiling. Add husked corn; cover, and cook over high heat about 3 minutes. MICROWAVE: Just rinse unhusked corn, then place 2 ears in microwave and cook on high 3-4 minutes. Let stand 3 minutes then husk. ROAST: With oven at 500 degrees, place corn in shallow roasting pan and brush with vegetable oil. Roast 15 minutes GRILL: Cook husked corn over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

How do you cook winter squash?
We grow a large amount and variety of winter squash. Most is cooked in a similar manner.

BAKE: Place squash halves, cut side down, in a baking dish. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Turn cut side up. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes more until tender.

MICROWAVE: Prick squash skin. Place halves, cut side down, in a baking dish with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, covered, on high for 6-12 minutes until tender.

STEAM: Cut peeled squash into chunks. Place in a steamer basket in a Dutch oven. Cover and steam over boiling water for 10-15 minutes or until tender.


When you can fruits and vegetables, how many pounds does it take to make one quart?

FRUIT:    
  Apples 2-3lbs                                  Nectarines 2-3lbs 
  Apricots 2-2.5lbs                           Peaches 2-3lbs 
  Berries 4 pint baskets                   Pears 2-2.5lbs 
  Blueberries 3.5lbs                          Tomatoes 2.5-3.5lbs 
  Cherries 2-3lbs       

VEGETABLES: 
  Beans, green and wax 3-5lbs       Potatoes  5-6lbs 
  Beets 2.5-3.5lbs                              Pumpkin 1.5-3lbs 
  Carrots  2-3lbs                                Sweet Potatoes 2-3lbs 
  Cucumbers 2-2.5lbs                       Winter Squash 1.5-3lbs 
  Corn 3-6lbs (8-16ears)                  Zuchinni 2-4lbs 
  Peas 3-6lbs       


~Special Events and Daily Activities

What's this I hear about Portland's original...THE MAIZE? What is it and when is it?
The Maize is a 6 acre cornfield maze produced right here at the Pumpkin Patch this year as an added attraction. It will be open mid September through October for your challenging enjoyment! It is made up of 300,000 cornstalks that create a human-size maze. Fieldtrips and special groups are welcome. Please call The Maize hotline at (503) 621-7110 for more information or
www.portlandmaze.com.
The Maize has appeared in 2000 different sites across the country. See www.themaize.com for more information!

When is the Pumpkin Cottage giftshop and the Patio cafe open?
The giftshop is open daily 10 AM - 6 PM. You'll want to stop in each time you visit the farm to experience all the new items. We're are constantly changing and adding new items based on customer desires! The cafe is open Friday through Sunday June through September - 10 AM - 6 PM. It is open DAILY in October 10 AM - 6 PM. The Patio Cafe, Pumpkin Perk Coffee and farm fresh Market are all open until 10 PM on Friday and Saturday nights in October when the Maize is open.