Over the fall break weekend, I visited the pumpkin patch at Bella Organic Farm on Sauvie Island. The farm is family-run and features year-round fruit picking events alongside their seasonal festivities. During autumn, in celebration of Halloween, they open a corn maze and a pumpkin patch where you can pick your own personable squash.
Pulling into the parking lot, you are immediately greeted by large bins filled with pumpkins of different colors, shapes and textures—as many as anyone could possibly think of. Accompanying the pumpkin bins, there are a variety of booths selling food and drinks, including fall classics such as cider, hot chocolate and a variety of caramel apples. Other snacks include oversized cookies, kettle corn, french fries and corndogs, all of which are delicious on a chilly autumn afternoon. For adults, the farm also sells wine, hard cider and beer.
Every year, the farm opens their corn maze, which visitors can buy tickets to and explore. Once you have bought a ticket, there are hidden checkpoints throughout the maze, with multiple levels of difficulty, making it engaging for all ages. The maze at Bella Organic Farms boasts a different design and message each year. This year, the message carved into the corn field was, “No More Silence, End Gun Violence,” formed by the paths of the maze.
Prices for regular corn maze tickets are $10 during the day , and increase to $12 after 6 p.m. However, Bella Organic Farms also has an event called the haunted corn maze which is open every Friday and Saturday night in October, and costs vary depending on the day. October 6 and October 27 are $30, October 7, 13, 20 and 28 are $35, and October 14 and 21 are $40. Though I did not explore the haunted corn maze, the regular corn maze was quite enjoyable. It was very easy to get lost, but I had a fun time wandering around, trying to figure out where I was.
Easily the best part of visiting the farm was the pumpkin patch. After lining up to get on the hay ride, groups are driven out to the pumpkin patch, which is huge. Pumpkins cover the rolling hills as far as the eye can see. You could absolutely wander for ages, searching for the best pumpkin. Every few steps I found an even better pumpkin than the one I had found previously, and it was a struggle to pick which ones I wanted to take home.
Once you have found the pumpkins you want, you return to the farm via the hay ride to pay for your new autumnal friend. The prices are reasonable, ranging from $2 to around $20 depending on the size of the pumpkin. After trekking through the field, you will likely be covered in mud (I definitely was!) and so will your pumpkins, so beware of dirtying your car on the drive home. Despite the mess, it was absolutely worth it.
The prices for the pumpkins and the corn maze are fair, and the events were fun. The prices for food are on the higher end, so any college students with a tight budget may want to eat ahead of time or bring their own snacks. The food was tasty though, so one or two treats may be worth it for the full experience. Many of Portland’s pumpkin patches are independent and family-run businesses, so high prices support these small businesses.
As a whole, the pumpkin patch was enjoyable and festive, and I would recommend it to students who want to get in the spirit of Halloween. Many events catered to younger children, but that doesn’t mean college kids and adults can’t have fun as well. Whether you bring a few friends and get lost in the maze, or go hunting for the perfect pumpkin out in the patch, an afternoon at Bella Organic Farms will leave you satisfied with seasonal joy.