Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Muzzi's Ranch Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

On Saturday, John and our friends Nick and Melissa made our second annual trip to the Muzzi's Ranch Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in San Gregoria, California. We stumbled upon this little treasure last year while camping at Costanoa in Pescadero. What sets this privately owned farm apart from the other cookie cutter pumpkin patches is the pure ridiculousness of it (and the lack of annoying crowds). http://www.yelp.com/ politely calls it "Local Flavor", I call it classic Nor Cal weird.

Muzzi's Ranch is located off highway 84 near Pescadero on La Honda Road. There are a few dilapidated signs leading the way but mostly you'll just stumble upon it by the bright patch of orange off to the side of the road. To call it a ranch is a bit of stretch. At one time, maybe 20 years ago, it was an operating ranch but today its a set of dilapidated buildings, empty fields and pumpkins.

The larger pumpkins are arranged in an open field with cardboard boxes of little pumpkins and gourds off to the sides. You can choose from the basic orange pumpkin or some "designer" pumpkins of bright orange or green. The boxes of little pumpkins are sold 3 for a $1 and so are the gourds which come in an array of colors and sizes (some oddly resembling fruits in color and shape). 

Conveniently at the entrance are 10 red wheel barrows for use by customers to fill up with their pumpkin treasures. We filled up two wheel barrows each. I chose: 2 large pumpkins for decorating and three mini pumpkins for fun. Our grand total was a whopping $6. In the city, this would have cost me at least $20! Our friends made the real killing: 3 large pumpkins, an assortment of gourds, 6 mini pumpkins and 5 smaller pumpkins for only $23.

Old man and his pickup (and farm hand)
How you may ask can pumpkins be so cheap??? I have no idea. It could be all the pumpkins fell off the back of a truck thus they are all profit or the ornery man who works the farm (but never steps out of his pickup or extinguishes the cigarette loosely hanging from his lip) has difficulty counting or merely doesn't care.

Sadly, the corn maze was just not tall enough. The prior year, we had torrential rains around Halloween and a lot of the farm land in the area got flooded and crops washed away. This farm was hit pretty hard as the entire corn maze was one big pool of water last year. This year he built it in a new location, but possibly it didn't have time to mature, thus only a 3 year old would have been short enough to call it a proper maze. Plus the old man, his not so trusty companion leering by his side and the $5 surcharge cannot be appealing to parents of little ones! Thus no one dared enter the maze in the time we were there.

Old farm house with "Unsafe" sign

That being said, Muzzi's Ranch is a wonderful option from the busy Half Moon Bay pumpkin festival but if you are looking for modern amenities and trendy pumpkin ice cream this isn't your place. Its an beautiful drive from the city, cheap, highly entertaining and quiet. I'd much rather go to a pumpkin patch that resembles a scene from The Children of the Corn than Half Moon Bay's yuppie heaven. Its all so very halloween!

1 comment:

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