Because it’s October, my sister and I took the little ones to Mitchell Farms in Collins…we were hoping to get the perfect autumn photo of all the kids in the pumpkin patch…or the sunflower field. Didn’t work…which brings me to a very important tidbit of wisdom we gleaned (yet again) from experience: take the photo first. Trust me. When in doubt, take the photo first. It might have been late October, but it was hot. And dry. And dusty. And the photos we took at the end of the trip proved it. Mitchell Farms is a great way to spend an autumn day (even a hot one). It’s not difficult to find, and oh so fun.
You start by purchasing your tickets at the Post Office…the Don’t, Miss Post Office. How cute is that? It’s right behind someone’s house so you know you’re on a family farm for sure. In fact, our kids’ first order of business was to head straight to the swing in that home’s front yard. Hope the owners didn’t mind.
There is a general store, where you can buy things grown and cooked or canned right there on the farm, not to mention the fruit and veggie stand nearby. Admission allows you to play on the playground, take the wagon tour, explore the maze and pick a pumpkin from the patch. (Okay, they’ve helped you out here and brought them in from the patch so you don’t have to carry them quite so far.)
The wagon tour was really fun…and very educational. I’ve never been much of a country girl and know practically nothing about farming. It was amazing to see and hear how all the parts of the farm work together, from the people to the machines to the crops and even the order in which they’re planted. Something is always being planted, harvested or fertilized.
The maze was not made of corn…might have been sorghum, but I can’t remember. This year it was made in the shape of the state of Mississippi with the word “Mississippi” written through the middle. We could have wandered for hours in it, but thankfully, I remembered a basic rule of survival: pick a point in the direction you are going and keep going toward it. So, we scanned the horizon and saw one of the buildings and kept turning toward it. It worked, which was good because, as I said before, it was hot and dusty and we were thirsty.
After the maze, we picked our pumpkins. You should have seen the moms trying to get to the unique, white pumpkins first. I thought for a moment my sister might fight me for the one I found, but we spotted some others just in the nick of time.
Then it was time to play. We started at the Animal Barn because my baby loves animals. They had baby chicks, their mamas, peacocks, guineas, goats, and more…even a fox, I kid you not. Little animal lover was thrilled and has been back on her “Can we have a barn?” kick ever since. We tell her repeatedly that we do have a barn. She just rolls her eyes and says, “One with animals.” She doesn’t say “duh,” but she definitely implies it.
Next to the playground…which is nothing if not old school….they still have see-saws. And, the play area is shaded by some very tall, very old oak trees, complete with ropes and tires to swing on. The kids could have stayed all day. There was an area for smaller children, including a preschool hay maze and a pool full of corn, which all of our kids loved. I just held my breath and tried not to think about what else might be swimming in all that corn. (I can’t help myself. My thought process went something like this: mice like corn, I bet. Snakes love mice….you see where this is going.)
Be sure you don’t miss (ha!):
- The Goat Palace…the goats are too cute, and you can feed them, too!
- The cold drinks at the end of the maze…actually, you couldn’t miss this if you tried…they placed it very strategically…and, boy, were we glad!
- The sunflower photo op…even if the kids are hot and dusty, the backdrop is beautiful!
Mitchell Farms operates as a U-Pick farm throughout much of the year and is open for the Pumpkin Patch from the end of September til early November. They also have a very old log cabin for tours on certain days. Visit their website and learn more!