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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
I am typically a purist when it comes to the written word, but I think as Arkansans we can all agree that an accurate addition to this famous quote from Anne of Green Gables could (and should) read, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers in Arkansas.” There really is nothing quite like the rolling hills of the Natural State as the trees start to turn. A new world begins to unfurl in this state we love, and those loving feelings we have for fall start to kick into overdrive.
In addition to the standard fall necessities – jeans, flannel, Razorback football paraphernalia, mums and (for some) a few hundred pumpkin spice lattes – there is a much-cherished tradition of visiting a local pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Besides being a fantastic photo-op for families, agritourism is a great way to support the producers in our state. Giving back to the community AND having great family photos – it really is a win-win situation.
While decorating with pumpkins and making a stellar apple pie are always good ideas, I like the idea of a challenge. I also like the idea of using my Crock-Pot anytime I can, and that’s where the pumpkin and apple butter recipes below originated. It is hard work to wash and prep pumpkins and apples, but the end result is so decadent and delicious that it is certainly worth the effort. A bonus? These recipes are enough to feed an army, and since sharing is caring you now have the opportunity to share the fall love with your family and friends.
Below you will find two delicious recipes and a list of wonderful pumpkin patches and apple orchards to visit. While the list is not all-inclusive, these locations come highly recommended; however, unlisted recommendations are always welcome in the comments!
Makes approximately 16 cups (depending on the size of the pumpkin)
Notes: It is key to try and use fresh pumpkin as the water content is part of what helps the cooking process. Aim for about 15-16 cups of pumpkin puree.
Makes approximately 8 cups
Schaefers Corn Maze (Mayflower)
Bobrook Farms (Roland)
Willow Springs Market Garden (Little Rock)
Suzanne’s Fruit Farm (Hampton)
Hardin Farms (Scott)
McGarrah Farms (Pea Ridge)
Cox Berry Farm and Nursery (Clarksville)
Drewry Farm and Orchards (Dover)
Mountain Home Berry Farm (Mountain Home)
Peebles Farm (Augusta)
Arkansas Frontier (Quitman)
Family Farm Fall Harvest and Pumpkin Patch (Malvern)
Garner Homestead Family Farm (Lonsdale)
Hicks Family Farms (Lonoke)
Holland Bottom Farm (Cabot)
Mary’s Place Pumpkin Patch (Bryant)
Motley’s Pumpkin Patch (Little Rock)
Pumpkin Hollow (Piggot)
Roseberry Farms (Beon)
Scott Pumpkin Patch (Scott)
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