Our Pumpkin Patch
At Stade’s we grow many different varieties of pumpkins. Sizes range from one pound to 200 pounds; colors are classic dark orange, white, blue, green, pink, or yellow; shapes can be tall and narrow, short and squatty, or perfectly round; pie pumpkins, small gourd pumpkins, basketball size pumpkins, large pumpkins, and giant pumpkins. We also have pumpkins that are specifically grown for seed roasting. Whatever your likes are, you can find the perfect pumpkin here in Stade’s pumpkin patch.
Pumpkin U-Pick Pricing- weekends only through October 29, 2017.
• $7 each or purchase FOUR or more pumpkins for $6 each. (any size in the pumpkin patch)
U-Pick Hours- Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays ONLY
Weekend tractor driven rides to the U-PICK Pumpkin Patch are available from 10 am – 5:30 pm. Please check our website, Twitter, Facebook, or call 815-675-6396 for picking conditions and more information. Stade’s reserves the right to close the Pumpkin Patch due to inclement weather (heavy rain, thunder, lightning and/or severe winds) without advance notice in order to protect their customers and employees.
Farmtractions Theme Park
Stade’s Farmtractions Theme Park will be open weekends only (Fri, Sat, Sun) from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. during U-pick season. This is officially our Shades of Autumn Fall Festival season, complete with all the family fun and traditions you have come to know and love at Stade’s Farm. For more information visit our attractions page.
How to Pick Pumpkins
Be a Pumpkin Inspector. For starters, the flesh should be firm and the stem should not be dried out (in most cases the darker the orange, the healthier the pumpkin). Look for small holes which are a sign that the pumpkin is rotting from the inside. The shape is up to you and doesn’t affect the quality.
Not all Pumpkins are for Eating. Not all pumpkins are good for a pie filling. Pie pumpkins are about 6-8″ in diameter and will have smoother, less stringy flesh than a decorative pumpkin. Ask one of our friendly Stade’s attendants to show you where the pie pumpkins are. Note: They are generally in the market for purchase and NOT in the field for picking.
Just Pok’in Around. Yes, pumpkins can be a little pokey or prickly on the stem. If this is an issue for the young ones, either pick the pumpkin for them or have the kids wear gloves when picking. Oh, and don’t try to carry or lift the pumpkin by its stem because it’s likely to break.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Pumpkin. It’s easy for kids to get excited about the ‘hugest pumpkin in all the world’ which generally turns out to be a pumpkin far too heavy for them (or you) to carry. Help kids pick a pumpkin that they can successfully handle. We will have wheelbarrows available (not for kids/people to ride in) for you to transport your pumpkins to your vehicles.
Splish, Splash. Always come prepared because weather conditions can change rapidly and field conditions may be wet and muddy. Make sure you wear a pair of boots or old shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. It’s always a good idea to pack clean socks and shoes in a plastic garbage bag that you leave in the car. This way if conditions change, you will have clean shoes and socks for the ride home and a garbage bag to place any soiled items.
Harvesting Memories. Spending a day pumpkin picking at Stade’s Farm is a wonderful way to build family traditions, priceless memories and discover the thrill and wonder of the blessings of harvest. We invite you to join us this season and let Stade’s help create your lasting family memories.
Carving Your Pumpkins
It’s hard to deny the magic one feels from the warm glow of a candle inside an artfully carved pumpkin. Carving pumpkins is a time honored tradition but it sure can get messy. Following are what we have found to be excellent carving instructions as well as a few tips and tricks to help preserve the length of time your pumpkin lasts.
1. You will be using a sharp knife. Always handle a knife cautiously and never allow children to carve unattended. Find a time when you will not be distracted (turn off cell phones).
2. Cover your work surface with old newspaper and be sure to have a bowl or bucket on hand for the seeds and pulp. Check each side of the pumpkin and choose where you want your face to be carved.
3. With a pen, inscribe and etch the outlines for your eyes, nose and mouth on the pumpkin. You should also draw the outline for the lid at the same time. Be sure to make the lid large enough for your hand to fit inside the pumpkin. Consider making a hexagon lid as it is easier to cut than a circle.
4. Using a paring knife cut out your lid. Don’t forget to cut a notch in the lid, so you can easily fit it back on the pumpkin. (Don’t carve the face yet.)
5. It is important to cut the lid at a 45° angle slanting inward, with the top of the lid larger than the bottom, so your lid will fir snugly back on without falling in. (Don’t you hate when that happens?)
6. Use a large serving spoon or an ice cream scoop to clean out the seeds and stringy goop inside.
7. Scrape the sides, bottom and lid firmly so they are nice and clean. If you will be placing a candle in your pumpkin, be sure to scrape a flat surface in the bottom of your pumpkin to stand the candle.
8. Next, carefully cut out the eyes, nose and mouth and pop the pieces out from the inside.
9. Finally, place a tea light or votive candle in a glass holder in the bottom of your pumpkin.
10. Find free pumpkin carving patterns and templates you can download here.
Midwest Living has 10 Free stencils specific to the Midwest such as corn, a barn, a sunflower and more. You can view these free stencils by clicking on the pumpkin photo. In addition to these 10 free stencils you can also find 45-decorating ideas for your pumpkin projects this fall. . 45 Pumpkin Decorating Projects.
Carved pumpkins tend to not last very long. Here are a few steps you can take to prolong your pumpkins life.
• Once carved, coat the cut edges of your Jack-O-Lantern with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. The idea is to seal the flesh so it will not have moisture loss. Sealing also inhibits mold growth.
• Keep your pumpkin out of direct sun during the day.
• Place your pumpkin in a bucket of water overnight.
Varieties of Pumpkins
There are many varieties of pumpkins, coming in all shapes and sizes, being as diverse as they are plentiful. Below are a few of the varieties grown at Stade’s Farm and Market.
The Jack-O-Lantern variety is bred especially for carving. They have stiff straight walls, fibrous flesh and are perfect for carving. Their hollow cavities work well for holding candles.
Cinderella Pumpkins resemble the pumpkin that Cinderella’s fairy godmother transformed
into a carriage. While oftentimes used as a decorative pumpkin, their flavor is good for both pie or winter squash recipes.
The Blue Hubbard squash has a finely-textured, yellow-orange flesh that is medium sweet with a very hard rind. It can be cooked on its own or added to soups.
The Kakai Pumpkin is especially good for toasted pumpkin seeds. Kakai seeds are completely hull-less. The pumpkin has bright orange and green stripes. It is pronounced Kah-Ki.
Picking pumpkins is a timeless family tradition and we are happy to provide a place for you to build lasting memories.
Vern & Gayle Stade
• Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won’t grow in.
• The pumpkin capitol of the world is Morton, IL
• Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
• Pumpkin flowers are edible.
• The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake
• Pumpkins are 90 percent water.
• Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.
• The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 2,058 pounds.
• Pumpkin plants feature both male and female flowers, with bees typically being involved in pollination