Did y’all know that pumpkins grow on these long stems and you actually have to pull them out of the ground? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I got a chance to witness the whole earthy process this weekend when a group of friends and I trekked out to Center Grove Orchard, about 30 minutes away from Des Moines.
And though I joke a little, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen pumpkins on stems in the fields like that before. Let me tell you, it was incredible. Though I was the subject of many “city girl discovers the simple life” jokes from my friends, I really was fascinated by all that Center Grove had to offer. I’ve talked before about how Des Moines is this awesome cultured, urban area, but by venturing out past the city a little, Des Moines has also given me the opportunity to experience the farm life that I’ve only ever seen in Footloose.
It really was this kind of refreshing foray into nature for me. After spending time soaking in the blue sky and the sight of these beautiful fields, I came back feeling better, happier, clearer somehow. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m basically Thoreau.
But besides the soul-cleansing benefits of the orchard, it was just a lot of fun. We took a hay ride around the farm, got to visit with some baby animals, spent time literally picking our own pumpkins, and then got to drink some awesome apple cider at the end. Plus, I saw approximately 3 different babies dressed in pumpkin outfits. You can’t tell me that’s not the cutest thing in the world.
And by the end of the day, maybe I even became a bit of a farm girl myself. I mean, I did drive a tractor while at the orchard. Okay, to be fair, it was a pedal operated tractor meant for children, but I’ve got to start small. I’m not Kevin Bacon.