How Far Can a Pumpkin Fly?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Around our house, fall is synonymous with  Hallowe'en and that quickly leads to two questions.

  1. What are you going to be? 
    (A pirate and Wolverine)
  2. How many pumpkins should we get?
    (As many as possible)

Elsewhere, fall also means harvest time for fresh Ontario produce.

Recently we had the chance to spend some time at Whittamore's Farm - inspecting hundreds of pumpkins, tasting goodies from the farm shop and exploring their Pumpkinland Fun Farm. 

Whittamore's Farm

The 220 acre farm, just north of Toronto, has been in the Whittamore family since the early 1800's. Today, it is one of Ontario's largest pick your own farms with over 200, 000 customers every year.

Whittamore Farm, Local farm market, pumpkins, corn maze, fall family outdoor funWhittamore's Farm on a beautiful autumn dayThe Farm Market features an onsite bake shop  as well as  fresh produce including Ontario apples, gourds, decorative indian corn  and, of course, pumpkins.

fall harvest, gourds, mini pumpkins, local market, Whittamore FarmSpectacular gourds of all colours, shapes and sizes

Indian Corn, Whittamore Farm Market, Fall colours, Local marketColourful Indian Corn

Whittamore's Pumpkinland

As the name suggests,  pumpkins are the main draw  at this time of  year and there are plenty to choose from. Sizes range from those that fit into the palm of your preschooler's hand to those that necessitate the use of  a complimentary wheelbarrow.

fall pumpkins, Whittamore Pumpkinland, Whittamore Farm MarketTime to pick the perfect one

The Fun Farm has plenty to do for young families, but our kids have been waiting all year for the corn maze.  It is a lot of fun to follow the winding pathways through the towering stalks of corn.  

Whittamore Farm Corn maze, outdoor family fun, Aerial view of Whittamore's corn maze

Don't worry,  there are many ways out of the maze,  though some paths  are more direct than others. 

The Main Event

Boom! What was that sound and where is everyone going?

A trip to Whittamore's Pumpkinland isn't complete without seeing a few pumpkins fly through the air. Every weekend there are three shows daily - at noon, 2 pm and 4 pm - where crowds can get their fill of  pumpkin and other vegetable projectiles.

Pumpkin launcher, pumpkin canon, Whittamore Farm PumpkinlandThe crowd gathers for the Pumpkin LaunchingYour host for the Pumpkin Cannon show is Farmer Frank. 

Pumpkin canon, pumpkin launcherFarmer Frank engages the crowd before the lauching beginsHe's not just a skilled juggler, he also designed the air cannon used to hurl small pumpkins  up to 450m into the neighbouring field. 

The pumpkins are shot high into the air to maximize the distance traveled, which can make it difficult to track the trajectory. A very helpful Farmer Frank often calls out "To the left" or "To the right" to help out the crowd.

Can I Get A Volunteer From The Audience?

To  toss larger pumpkins into the field, a trebuchet is required and little volunteers are more than happy to assist.

pumpkin canon, pumpkin launcher, volunteers, Farmer FrankFarmer Franks says 'Want to launch some Pumpkins?'Our birthday boys  were lucky enough to be Farmer Frank's helpers and got to push the trebuchet button together.

pumpkin launcher, pumpkin trebuchet, Whittamore Farm PumpkinlandPumpkin TrebuchetEven though  the pumpkin hang time and distance traveled was much shorter than the air cannon, the trebuchet was definitely our highlight of the day.

pumpkin launcher, pumpkin canon, pumpkin trebuchet, Whittamore farm PumpkinlandWaiting for the big splat!

Have you ever been to a pumpkin launch?

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