When I was a kid, my parents used to take me and my sister to the local pumpkin patch to find our very own pumpkins. We’d walk down the rows of vines, turning promising pumpkins around to see if they were just right on all sides. This was the first of the end-of-year traditions, the signal that celebrations aplenty were on their way.
I can still remember the feel of the pumpkin stem’s prickles in my fingers as we cut it from the vine. Then hefting our find back to the car and home to gut them and carve them into creepy creations.
Nowadays, I don’t think kids get that opportunity as often. Yes, there are still pumpkin patches, but they’re more remote and available to people who either live in a rural or semi-rural area or those who don’t mind driving a bit to get their pumpkins.
In steps the local mall. Many malls around the country are setting up faux pumpkin patches to encourage people to come shop. With a bit of hay tossed on the tile and piles of pumpkins set up in little rows, more urban kids can get a weather-free “pumpkin patch experience.” The idea is a good one — it brings business into the malls and is convenient for today’s busy parents. But do the kids realize where these pumpkins came from? Does this faux patch convey the idea that pumpkins grow out of the ground upon a vine? I don’t know, but it might be interesting to find out.