4 Great Ways to Experience Harvest Season on Cape Cod
It’s no surprise. Most people imagine going to the beach and fried seafood when they think of Cape Cod. However, there’s a small, but devoted few who know autumn, particularly around harvest time, is when this cornucopia of fresh fruits and veggies really shines. Read on to learn where you can pick your own pumpkins, tromp along a cranberry bog, and embrace the season’s bounty.
1. Farmers' Markets
Farmers' Markets are a great way to shop small while adding big nutrition and colorful variety to your plate. Luckily, with a dozen plus markets on the Cape, you’ll never be too far from fresh ears of corn or crisp green beans this fall. Some of our favorites include the Farmers' Markets in Wellfleet (8 am to noon on Wednesdays through October 10), Chatham (Tuesdays from 3 to 6 pm through October); Falmouth (Thursdays from noon to 6 pm through October 11); Sandwich (Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm through October 16) and Provincetown (Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm through November 17). You can also stock up on fresh produce, locally made products and hearty mums at Cape Abilities Farm in Dennis.
2. Pumpkins — Two Ways (where to pick and where to play)
Whether you buy a day pass or become a member, you’re sure to find the ideal future jack-o-lantern when you visit Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth. Afterward, grab a just-baked cinnamon bun and apple cider from the farm’s Peck O’Dirt Bakery and make friends with one of the resident Nigerian Dwarf goats.
Long before the invention of apple-picking robots, Tobey Farm in Dennis planted its first crop in 1681, and the proud owners haven’t stopped cultivating incredibly fresh produce since. Today, you can get a taste of the homestead experience picking your own pumpkins at Cape Cod’s oldest family farm. While you're there, hop on one of their kid-friendly haunted hayrides around the grounds.
Pumpkin Day - Saturday, October 6
Bring the kids, cousins and friends to Bourne Farm’s annual celebration of all things fall: Pumpkin Day. From harvest-time classics (pick-your-own pumpkins and horse-drawn hayrides) to fairground favorites (face painting and a petting zoo), there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Pumpkin People in the Park - October 13-31
Looking for a quirky and very local experience? Chatham's highly imaginative Pumpkin People in the Park is just the thing. For two weeks each October, members of the community display figurines and scenes using pumpkins as their medium of choice. Make sure you bring your selfie-stick and snap a photo with one of the “locals.”
PumpkinFest - Saturday, October 20
Chartreuse with flecks of gold. Squatty and indigo. Or, traditional burnt orange with a Granny Smith green stem. Your perfect pumpkin is waiting to be chosen at Sandwich Glass Museum’s 7th Annual PumpkinFest. Select one (or a peck) of these hand-blown works of art just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Proceeds from the event help support the museum.
3. Fresh Apples
Candied apples, baked apples and – of course – fresh apple pies. Fall really is the season to celebrate Sir Isaac Newton’s favorite fruit. Farmer Howard Cowell and his clan at Crow Farm are fans too. They cultivate 15 different varieties of apples on their forty-acre property. Get your own bushel of hard-to-find, Cape-grown Macouns, Ginger Golds, and Northern Spies at Crow’s Farmstand in Sandwich.
Each autumn, couples flock to Peachtree Circle Farm in Falmouth to pick organically grown apples and snap sweet ‘grams for their Instas. Herbs, heirloom tomatoes, and their namesake fruit are just a portion of the sustainable produce available on site and at the Falmouth Farmers' Market.
Learn about one of the area’s most historically important industries with a cranberry bog tour in Harwich or Chatham. You’ll see the unconventional way these vibrant berries-with-attitude are harvested and grown. Call ahead for reservations; these tours are popular and book fast!