Autumn is a popular season for sports and outdoor activities, and common images of this season include raking leaves, scarves and jackets, hot drinks like spiced coffee, and most of all, fall fun comes from apple picking, apple pies, and pumpkin picking in rural areas like farms and orchards. Even autumn weddings can be spiced up with these plants, along with other rustic decorations. Hours of fun and fresh air can be had at a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, along with other activities like hay rides and making scarecrows, and an orchard may have generous hours of operation so families can come from far and wide to choose their favorite pumpkins and apples.

Visiting a Farm

Farms, and their orchards and pumpkin patches, may be open to the public, with hours of operation clearly stated on their websites or on signs on the premises, which could potentially span all day. Here, families and groups can get exercise and fresh air while learning about country life while picking ripe apples at orchards, which can be great fun for kids and can provide fresh, authentic ingredients for adults to use in cooking. Similarly, outdoor fall activities include the classic pumpkin patch and finding the right pumpkin to keep. Hundreds of these vegetables may be available at just one property, and kids and adults alike can browse the open air pumpkin patch and choose one to harvest and take home.

An ideal pumpkin will probably be round, have a strong orange color, and be firm and not have deformities on it. The stem can be cut, and the pumpkin taken home for use. These plants have been harvested in North America for some 5,000 years, and based on species, pumpkins can vary wildly in size, from under one pound to over 1,000. Their seeds are planted between May and June, and they are fully mature and ripe by October, which is when they are usually harvested with best results. After hours of fun with pumpkins and apple orchards, a person may have many of these plants on hand. What should be done with them?

Food and Decoration

Both apples and pumpkins are useful as desserts and decoration (especially the latter for decoration). Pie, according to a survey done by the Crisco and the American Pie Council, is the most popular dessert Americans would want a friend or family member to bring to a holiday meal, at a rate of 29%. Among pies, the most popular flavors are apple at 47%, pumpkin at 37%, and chocolate cream at 32%. Two whole pounds of apples are needed to make one pie nine inches in diameter, and this pie has often become nearly synonymous with autumn and early winter in the United States, especially in the countryside. Pumpkin pie, meanwhile, is a staple of Thanksgiving dinners, and it may have whipped cream on top for added flavor. Similarly, pumpkin seeds are often salted and roasted in the oven as a low-calorie snack. They may take no more than two hours to bake, or even less.

Pumpkins and other rustic plants can serve as decoration, not only for Thanksgiving and Halloween, but also for any outdoor fair or festival, where they are affordable, on-theme decorations that last for many hours without needing maintenance. Even a wedding in autumn can make use of them if there is a countryside or harvest theme, and pumpkins, bales of apples, squash, corn, and many other crops can act as decor. Other rustic decorations such as painted wooden signs and an arch, strings of white lights, wheelbarrows, bales of hay as seats, and more can complete this theme for hours of wonderful decor.

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