If you live in the greater Sacramento area (or are just visiting) and want a fun place to go get your pumpkins without battling the crowds at Apple Hill, I highly recommend Bierwagen’s in Grass Valley. When my sister told me that’s where she wanted to take us this year to get pumpkins, I was very confused. I thought, “Why would they have a place for kids to pick pumpkins where they also sell beer out of a wagon?” Turns out “Bierwagen” is the last name of the family who owns the farm and it’s a really great pumpkin patch that my sister and her family have been going to for years with her in-laws.
The pumpkin patch was a surprisingly quaint little farm nestled in the Sierra Foothills. It’s a bit of a trek if you live in the Valley but very easy to find, as it’s not far off of I80. It’s worth the drive if you’re looking for pumpkins that are actually growing out of the ground instead of lined-up in a parking lot. It doesn’t have the bounce houses and carnival rides like at some of the places they have nowadays – it’s more of throwback to the “real” pumpkin patches from when we were little – picture the one in “The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” – only with cute farm animals to pet and a corn maze.
They also had food there – which was great because we realized once we arrived that we were starving! They were selling hot dogs and hamburgers (which were very tasty) and homemade pies from a little booth. We had to wait awhile for our food because there were only two young ladies working; they seemed a little frazzled trying to ring people up and also make all the food – I think they were understaffed on that particular day but they were very sweet and apologetic about the wait. I saw several people waiting for these fried apple donut-type balls. I didn’t have one but they were made fresh right there and they smelled amazing. There is a restaurant across the street called the Happy Apple Kitchen, which my sister said the family also owns and that’s why they have such good apple baked goods.
My niece, Ava, proudly showing off her pumpkin. You can see my son in the background waiting to catch the football from my husband (It wasn’t really an appropriate place to be throwing a football – several times they almost hit other families who were strolling through the pumpkin patch minding their own business). Ava, at least, had her priorities straight! After all, we were here to get pumpkins.
Another thing I liked about this place was that it was just so beautiful and peaceful – it was far enough from the freeway to be very quiet and there was nature in every direction – ahh, it just puts you in a good mood to see the land the way God made it. There are orchards and rows of corn and pretty rolling hills full of pumpkins. There were also a few booths with crafts and gifts to buy. We don’t go for that sort of thing but we did buy a homemade apple pie on our way out because pie is something I don’t know how to make, so whenever I have the chance to get homemade pie, I jump at it! mmm- it was sooo good. My mouth is watering for some right now just thinking about it. Guess I’ll just have to wait until next year.