http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2013/10/16/pumpkin-patch-pleasures


Almanac

Cover Story - October 16, 2013

Pumpkin patch pleasures

Webb Ranch opens its doors to Halloween visitors

by Jane Knoerle

For the next two weeks, the Pumpkin Patch at Webb Ranch on Alpine Road is the place to be. Kids and their families are flocking to the ranch where 25 acres of pumpkins are ready to meet Halloween demand.

"We're growing 10 different varieties this year," says market manager Deano Lovecchio. Among them you'll find the Howden, Cinderella, Sugar Pie and Polar Bear (white). "White pumpkins are very popular," says Mr. Lovecchio.

There is no perfect size or shape of pumpkin, although a basketball size weighing around 15 pounds is the most popular with customers, he says.

Most of the pumpkins are grown at the ranch. However, the giant pumpkins (weighing close to 200 pounds) decorating the patch hail from Half Moon Bay.

They are there for show, right? "We've sold a lot of them," says Shyer Lovecchio, Deano's wife. "You'd be surprised."

Corn stalks, hay bales, Indian corns, gourds, and mini pumpkins are also for sale.

Along with picking the perfect pumpkin, visitors to the ranch can venture into the haunted house up the hill or work off their energy at the jumpy house.

Weekends feature hay rides, pony rides, train rides, and a petting zoo. Dressed in witches' garb, Nicole Gray does face painting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Hot dogs and lemonade from a vendor's cart and kettle corn are there to tempt hungry weekend visitors.

Longtime patrons also appreciate the chance to purchase the ranch's Ace tomatoes and corn at its farm stand, which did not open this summer. The ranch products are now sold at Biancini's market at Ladera Country Shopper and at local farmers markets.

Webb Ranch continues its tradition of having hundreds of school children visit on field trips, which are scheduled on weekdays only. Pumpkin picking is also a popular birthday party outing.

The Webb Ranch Pumpkin Patch is located on Alpine Road, near Highway 280. It is open from 10 a.m. to dusk through Halloween.

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