A Family Tradition Starts With Cider and Donuts (Oh, and Pumpkins too)


Fall City Farm combines all of our family pumpkin picking traditions (Oct 2010)

Yesterday I rambled on a bit about how important fresh cider and donuts are to my pumpkin picking experience. I thought I should shed a little more light on this for you all. This tradition started long before Dek came along and even before I met Mike.

Years and years ago my sister and I looked forward to fall. We knew on that first crisp autumn day my mother would bring home a gallon of cider and a box of donuts from the grocery store. Years went by and my taste buds expanded. Instead of store-bought donuts, I would pick up a pack of apple cider donuts and fresh pressed cider at a farm in the Hamptons on my way back to Philadelphia to visit Mike (I was working up there while he was working in PA after college.)

Mike and our friend load up on cider and donuts while Dek and I check out the apple cider process (Oct 2010)

When Mike and I moved out to Seattle, we finally had a front porch to put a pumpkin on. Mike wanted to revive his own family tradition of going to the pumpkin patch each year. Our first year out here we went on the hunt for the ideal patch. Mike needed decent pumpkins and I needed cider and donuts. It would be the perfect marriage of our two family traditions.

Our first stop was Jubilee Farm. Friends had been raving about it. The paper was writing it up as the place to be, so we had to check it out. There were great pumpkins, OK cider, but no fresh donuts. The next year we expanded our search and checked out Fall City Farm.

Fall City had exactly what Mike and I were looking for. It did not have as many kid activities as Jubilee, but we didn’t have a kid back then. All of the kids we did see seemed to be enjoying themselves though.

Dek discovers his first chickens at Fall City Farm (Oct 2010)

Once Dek came along, we still headed back to Fall City Farm. At first he was too tiny to really care what we did as long as he was warm, fed and dry. The next year he discovered the chickens and a donkey. Those were pretty cool. There was also a pumpkin launch and a  hay ride. Not as interesting.

At 1 year old, Dek wasn’t really interest in doing much. He was content just being with his parents, crawling in the dirt and seeing a few other little friends. Most of all he just wanted to check out those huge orange balls his mama kept making him stand near for pictures.

Crawling through the pumpkin patch at Fall City Farm (Oct. 2010)

I feel like our whole family walked away with a good experience and got what they wanted out of our self-created Pick Your Pumpkin day. And yes, the donuts and cider were worth the search. I like my cider to be dark and cloudy, not clarified and juice like. They had it in spades. I enjoy my donuts hot out of the grease. The donuts at Fall City Farm were so hot that the sugar and cinnamon started to melt on contact. I had to let them cool down before eating. Perfection. If I didn’t feel a little sick after our trip to the farm I wasn’t doing it right. After all, a second bag of donuts may not be the best idea, but it sure tastes good.

I’d like to title this “Real Men Where Ergos.” Mike carried Dek through the patch while picking out a perfect pumpkin. A 2 month old Dek found his own perfect pumpkin at the farm shop. (Oct 2009)

Our friends still look at us like we are a little crazy when we tell them we will only head to a new farm if they can guarantee fresh cider and donuts. If you had finally figured out your family tradition, and a delicious one at that, wouldn’t you? If you find yourself some good donuts I think you will.

Bonus Image

This is Mike’s favorite picture of Dek from his first year. It looks like Dek is terrified of a gourd. If you look closer though, you will notice Dek is in front of the gourd. It was just a split second moment between facial expressions a 2 month old makes. Still hilarious.

Attack of the hanging gourd

Know Before You Go

  • The farm store is open Tuesday-Sunday throughout October, but the special events happen only on the weekend
  • Cider and donuts are fresh and hot. The lines get long, but keep an eye on your kids. Burns are a possibility.
  • Check the Fall City Farm website for special music performances each weekend
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Showing 8 comments
  • Reply

    I love that picture too. Attack of the giant gourd!!!

  • Reply

    lovely – what a perfect day!

  • Mom

    I’d like to give your paternal grandparents credit for starting the cider and donuts tradition when they took 5 kids to Tice’s farm in Montvale, NJ every year(it may be a suburban development now). We didn’t work as hard to find fresh donuts when you were younger, and Zeigler’s cider was always a treat in PA. But, last year, Dad began the hunt again and claims he’s found the perfect cider/donut combo at Nonesuch Farms in Buckingham, PA.

  • Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen donuts at a farm – it may be another one of those traditions that we don’t really have in Canada. Love the pic of Dek with the scary gourd!

  • Althea Lingo

    Hi Keryn,

    We just moved to Seattle and I found your blog (while searching for a pumpkin patch). Now that Fall City Farms is a Christmas tree farm; where do you and your family go?

    Happy Travels!

    • Keryn Means

      Hi Althea,
      Our new favorite place is Swan Trail Farms up in Snohomish. Jubilee Farms is also always a good option, but pumpkin prices are a lot better up north at Swan Trail. Happy picking!

      • Althea Lingo

        Hi Keryn,
        We went to Swan Trail Farms today and had a fabulous time! Thank you for pointing us in the right direction!

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