Carmel Valley Gourds

We intended to post the first part of a multi-part SSCS customer profile today, but the preparation has taken longer than we expected, so we won’t post Part 1 until next week (we’ll make certain it’s worth waiting for!)

We didn’t have time to write a substitute entry, but wanted to present original material, so we turned our attention to last weekend’s trip to Carmel Valley, a journey we take every year in preparation for Halloween and for which we always manage to take a few photos.

Last year we wrote a kind of ode to autumn in Carmel Valley (we’re grateful that it’s so close to SSCS headquarters). If you haven’t read it, it provides useful background information for the pictures below.

The two stops on our annual Halloween trip are Earthbound Farm and Hacienda Hay & Feed. We go to the former to buy small decorative pumpkins and gourds (pausing for refreshment at the on-premises farm stand); we go to the latter to look at the farm animals and walk through the spooky (if you’re seven years old) haunted hay tunnel maze. Both spots give us opportunities to let the Halloween spirit seep into our bones. The fact that Carmel Valley is usually warm this time of year just adds to the atmosphere.

Earthbound Farm

Presentation is everything at Earthbound Farm, to the extent that it’s easy to forget that this is an actual working organic farm, and not just a park dedicated to farm-like things, as least up front near the road that runs by it. Here’s an example of what we’re talking about:

Earthbound Farm Pumpkin Stack

These photos, taken in the same spacious front “yard” of the farm, help make the representation more complete. There are many of these little creative displays everywhere:

Carmel Valley Autmn Wonderfulness

Something new for this year was the Honey Bee habitat. Very cool, except we couldn’t help but be freaked out—even behind the protective fence—from all the honey makers buzzing around in the air:

Earthbound Farm Honeybee Habitat

And just in case you forget that this is a real farm, Mr. and Mrs. Scarecrow are here to remind you:

Carmel Valley Scarecrows

Hacienda Hay & Feed

Though Hacienda Hay & Feed is functionally a livestock store, the farm animals they have in back make it a family destination all year ‘round. They do autumn especially well, though, as this friendly scarecrow, more crow than scare, indicates:

Hacienda Scarecrow

We should mention that at Hacienda Hay & Feed it is not unusual to see out-of-the-ordinary things. This time we saw a strange white-haired pumpkin in display out front. Very curious, indeed:

Hacienda White Haired Pumpkin

Of course, we couldn’t leave without checking out the animals in back. As we said it was kind of hot on the day we visited, so don’t worry, Oreo the pig isn’t dead, he’s just tired. What a relief!

Oreo the Pig

Well, Oreo’s a pretty tough act to follow, so we’ll close this post with our lovable, but sleep-deprived, bovine friend. In the meantime, all of us at SSCS would like to wish you a happy autumn. We’ll be back next week for Part 1 of SSCS Success Story: Tahoma Market.