The leaves have begun their autumnal transfiguration exchanging green hues for reds, oranges, yellows, browns and every imaginable shade in between. There’s a crispness in the air that literally screams fall is upon us though not quite as loudly as my children. The fall season is a family season, a holiday season, specifically, it’s pumpkin season. Miller’s Country Gardens in Delaware, Ohio has your pumpkin needs covered.
Less than an hour’s drive from Columbus, Ohio at 2488 State Route 37 just north of the city of Delaware, Miller’s Country Gardens makes for the perfect family weekend day trip. The quickest route would most likely be to take State Route 23 North from the I-270 outer belt. But we’re not looking for fast, we’re looking for pumpkins and a proper christening of the fall season, right?
Life’s a journey—take the scenic route. Head north past the Columbus Zoo and Acquarium and Zoombezi Bay on Riverside drive which becomes State Route 257. The road winds along the reservoir and follows the tree lined Scioto River. The fall colors are breathtaking and well worth the extra drive. SR 257 will intersect SR 37 about 4 miles west of Miller’s Gardens. (For those like me who may be navigationally impaired, take a right on SR 37 if you are driving north.)
When you arrive at Miller’s Gardens make sure to check out the Farm Market. The sweet corn has been harvested and there’s plenty left. There’s also quite a selection of fresh produce. Winter is coming and if you are anything like me you’ll want to stock up, fill the freezer as it were. But remember, we’re after pumpkins, right?
Just outside of greenhouse to the left of the store there are tables lined with hundreds of meticulously selected and size sorted pumpkins. You see, Miller’s has made the process as painless as possible. So if you’re OK with a pumpkin that has been hand selected for you just hours earlier you can move on.
There’s an animal petting area. That’s farm animal. After the barnyard mavens have received their due lovin’ you can check out the corn maze. I can guarantee there’s not a kid out there who isn’t thrilled to run screaming through a corn field. They’ve even got a smaller hay bale maze suitable for toddlers. Though I’ll admit, my seven year old daughter had almost as much fun the the hay bales as she did in the corn field.
Lost in the Corn Maze
But let’s not let this talk of mazes get us lost. We’re after pumpkins, fresh pumpkins. The highlight of your trip to Miller’s Country Gardens is surely to be the hayride from the barn out into the pumpkin patch. Once there you are free to pick and choose your perfect pumpkin right from the vine. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
A bit of advice as told to my kids, “you can have any pumpkin you want as long as you can carry it out.” Trust me, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a pumpkin patch trying to sherpa five pumpkins back without dropping them. They will burst if dropped. I know where of I speak.
Five Perfect Pumpkins
Miller’s prices the pumpkins by the pound (0.29 cents as of this posting) and scales are conveniently located at the hay ride drop off area. There are also plenty of wagons available to carry your fresh picked perfect pumpkin back to your vehicle. Parking, by the way, is free of charge and the lots are located on the grounds.
This year, celebrate the arrival of fall by treating the family to a trip to the pumpkin patch at Miller’s Country Gardens.
(Seasonal operation. Hay rides offered Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm. Call for specifics or check their website for more detailed hours of operation.)
All Photos by Ed Lamaze.