There is no lack of places to pick pumpkins in Skagit and Whatcom counties, but the ultimate pumpkin patch experience may be at Gordon Skagit Farms, located on McLean Road outside of Mount Vernon. Open through the month of October, the Gordon farm has something for everyone who wants to celebrate autumn.
“The farm was started in 1932 by my grandparents,” said Eddie Gordon, who owns the farm with his brother Todd. The brothers started growing pumpkins in 1969, beginning with carving pumpkins but getting into specialty pumpkin varieties in the 1990s. Their selection has hugely expanded since then, and the farm is now growing 120 varieties of squash.
Eddie and Todd run the farm with help from various other family members, including a nephew who is expected to take over the farm some day. Todd does much of the farm management, while Eddie creates paintings to adorn the barns, and grows flowers to dry for wreaths. They both take beautiful photos of the farm year round to post on Instagram.
When they first started having a pumpkin farm stand, said Eddie, it was just for a few days before Halloween. “Most people got pumpkins for carving the week before.” As there got to be more interest in decorative varieties, they started moving the date further back.
Now they try to open the last week of September, depending on weather and when the pumpkins ripen. They still sell plenty of carving pumpkins, but also fanciful squash to decorate homes and yards, as well as pumpkins to cook with. And besides pumpkins, they now offer a full array of fall-themed activities.
The farm is a key stop for the Skagit Festival of Family Farms the first weekend of October, but then continues the festivities every day in October, with U-Pick pumpkins and apples, a corn maze, wonderful displays of pumpkins and gourds of every imaginable color and shape, hot cider, and a wood-fired pizza truck on weekends. The paintings and produce displays make great family photo opportunities, and this year there will be a sunflower field as well. They also carry produce and goods from local farmers and artisans showcasing Skagit Valley products, such as Water Tank Bakery, a nearby business featuring bread and cookies made with Cairnspring Mills flour, which is made from local wheat.
Thanks to their pumpkin selection, skillful design, and beautiful location on the Skagit flats, the farm has been featured in Garden Design, Victoria Bliss, and Martha Stewart Living over the last few years. The displays and artwork are different every year, so it’s worth going every October to experience the new look.
Despite their popularity, Eddie considers their farm to be “a little more low key,” with something for everyone. “We get people from Seattle and Bellingham because they like the vibe a lot.” If you are looking for the perfect way to celebrate autumn, a trip to Gordon’s is just the thing. 15598 McLean Rd., Mount Vernon, 360.424.0363, gordonskagitfarms.com