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Pumpkin Patch

Today, we went to the pumpkin patch at Mangini's, a fruit & vegetable stand situated at the front of its own  fields, that's been a part of Pleasant Hill for as long as I can remember.   Mangini's has never been a large operation, but it's got a long-standing and loyal customer base because it's produce is excellent.  I grew up eating Mangini's corn, and going there to get pumpkins & Christmas trees.

Pumpkins at Manginis

The afternoon exemplified Fall; long shadows, crisp, cool air, and golden sunlight.  A bunch of kids waited with their parents for a ride on the tractor, others buzzed around with excitement at being on a "real" farm, and going to get a pumpkin for Halloween.  Their infectious energy got us in the spirit too; we darted from place to place with silly grins, calling "look at this one!" and "wow!", ooohing and aaahing at the pumpkins.  Sure, you can get them at a grocery store, but there's nothing that takes me back to being a kid quite like being out in a field among rows of tilled earth, sunflowers, and dried stalks of corn rustling in the breeze.

As we were looking through the gourds and decorative corn inside the stand, I was surprised to hear a woman ask, "Are you Mr. Mangini?" to a friendly looking older man, who looked like a farmer.  I waited until they were done chatting, and introduced myself and Ania.  I told him how I'd grown up going to Mangini's, which is just around the corner from my parents' house, and how happy I am to be able to do so again, now that we've bought a house in my home town.  I also thanked him, not just for putting on this event, which everyone so clearly enjoyed, but for keeping Mangini's going though the years.  This small, family-owned produce stand is a part of what makes Pleasant Hill special.  For us, it certainly makes going to get a pumpkin a fun and memorable event!

Happy Halloween!