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Just one more year... (and pumpkin tour stop 1, Wing Farms)

Jon got older this weekend. Forget the fact that we don't age by year, but instead in minute increments throughout every moment of every day, it was this weekend that he finally added another year to his belt and came within only another 365 days of my own decade. His real birthday was Saturday and we celebrated by spending a couple of hours at the Borders store, enjoying lunch there, and then coming home to work on the website. After that he was a kind enough husband and father to forgo any usual birthday shindigging for that fantastic after-dark hike in the woods. He did get a fantastic cheesecake out of the deal, though; a gift that required no less than a few hours of work, mind you.

The other thing that we did this weekend, in addition to our all morning tour of borders and our magical night hike, was make our first tour of a local pumpkin patch. Our goal this year, because we love fall and because the football season is looking somewhat bleak, is to visit at least three different local pumpkin patches or orchards in search of a favorite spot. When we lived over on the east side of ann arbor town we thought that Wiards Orchard would be our number one spot, and it was fun, but having to pay to get into the country fair before you can even begin looking for a pumpkin, for which you'll have to shell out additional cash later, was less than appealing. After moving to our new location last summer we thought Jenny's Farm Stand would become our mainstay, but they have no on site orchard or pumpkin patch, so their main draw is a number of depressed looking goats and horses, and a rather tall mountain of straw. So we're on the hunt for a new fall hangout in which to place our loyalty.

Wing Farms, the original home of 99% of the hundreds of free rocks you will find in our landscaping, would appear to be a shoo-in for the job, thanks to its proximity and its obvious down-home, family-owned atmosphere, and that's the farm we visited today. It's also the farm we visited at this time last year to bring home hay, corn stalks, and pumpkins. Unfortunately, it's not going to make the cut. Aside from the fact that the pumpkins are not your standard carving pumpkin (which they make clear in their advertisements for "giant pumpkins" as opposed to "the same kind of pumpkin you can buy anywhere else"), the staff is definitely made up of a down home, family owning bunch and their immediate friends and relatives. That wouldn't be bad at all, if they seemed to give a rip about the non-related people shopping there. Last year we came away with the same disappointing feeling that these people don't really want to be selling pumpkins, to which I have to ask, then why do you? So, if you want a giant, strangely shaped, and/or oddly colored pumpkin for your Halloween decorating, this is the place to go, especially if you have no desire to strike up a friendly conversation with the farm staff, or if you don't mind coming away feeling like a twit for having had the nerve to want to buy some of the goods they are showcasing. Local is great, as long as local is great.

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