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Farm experience comes with Country Pumpkins maze
WHAT: Country Pumpkins
WHERE: 7152 Highway 32, Orland
HOURS: Open daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
COST: Corn Maze tours $3 per person — benefits Glenn County 4-H groups
Haunted Maze tours - $8 a person
The Haunted Maze is open Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 12,13, 19, 20 and 26, 27 from 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
If you want a farm experience, Country Pumpkins is ready for you during October.
The well-known pumpkin patch and corn maze is open and ready to sell pumpkins, gourds and fall harvest items.
It is on Highway 32 east of Orland near County Road Q and offers 20 acres of fun for people of all ages.
Owner Becky Gruenwald said this is the 13th season for the patch, but the second year at this location.
Admission and parking are free.
The corn maze benefits Glenn County 4-H clubs and people can tour it for $3 during daylight hours. At night, the maze becomes haunted on Friday and Saturday with ghouls, goblins, ghosts and other scary creatures.
But during the day, the place is serene.
"This is a quiet place," Gruenwald said. "There are no big attractions." It provides the public with a chance to pick out a pumpkin or gourd for their table or porch and also has local nuts, jams, and other products produced in Glenn County for sale under a big tent.
Heirloom style pumpkins can be used for baking pies and treats while other varieties are good for decorations, Gruenwald said. The patch sells both types.
There also is a petting zoo where youngsters can see a calf, sheep, goat, rabbits, chickens and more in a barn.
A bee hive is there as well for visitors to observe.
Signs talk about local agriculture and the growing cycle in an effort to educate children and adults about the ag. industry.
Teenager John Becerra has worked at the patch for five years.
He picks pumpkins, sells products in the tent and also performs in the Haunted Maze.
"Haunting is pretty fun," Becerra said. "I scare a lot of people."
He added a lot of preparation goes into it, but it is worth the effort.
This year Becerra said he is a clown in the maze and does juggling, too.
Make-up artist Toni Bruce paints faces at the patch and helps get the spooky actors ready.
"We get excited," Bruce said. "We get together once a year and put this on."
Paula Rath of the Capay district came with her grandchildren to gather pumpkins Wednesday morning.
Granddaughter Norah Reimers, 4, will celebrate her birthday at the patch on Sunday with a pumpkin painting party, Rath said.
"We love it," mom, Lindsay Reimers said. "We came last year and are excited to come this year."
In the meantime, Norah and her sister, Stella, rode in the pumpkin cart as the adults selected several pumpkins for decorating.
Touring the Haunted Maze takes about an hour, Gruenwald said.
There are 16 different scenes and 35 haunters, she said.
"Fridays are the best nights to come," Gruenwald said, but regardless of the night - the scenes stay similar throughout the season.
However, interaction with the haunters can change the experience, she said.
There also are three different lengths for corn maze tours that can take from two to 45 minutes.
"We have short distances for little ones," Gruenwald said. "Of course, 12 year olds have to do the whole thing."
Country Pumpkins also is on Facebook this year, she said, so people can find out more information through it.