Seasonal traditions aren’t constrained by climate. I have celebrated many a Christmas in the southern hemisphere, sweat pouring from my brow, dripping onto the wrapping paper on my lap from a just-opened gift. Christmas doesn’t always mean snow, cold, and a warm fire.
I have spent Easters anticipating the cool-ish rains, glad to leave the heat behind. Easter doesn’t always mean daffodils and spring.
Independence Day? I remember one particular 4th of July being cold and rainy. That’s July at high elevation near the equator.
This week I was particularly delighted to see a fall pumpkin patch à la Hawaii. No corn maze or hot apple cider here. This patch was completely climate appropriate, resisting appropriation from more northern latitudes. Mason jars with ice-cold li hing lemonade were purchased. Instead of a fiery array of deciduous autumn leaves, tropical foliage enveloped the grounds. Hot, cold – orange pumpkins can grow almost anywhere. Throw in a ride behind a tractor and some local farm animals and you have a pumpkin patch. No hot cocoa or hope of a crisp breeze necessary.
Truth be told, I didn’t search out this pumpkin patch on my own, though for some families a pumpkin patch visit with the obligatory posed photo in a field of pumpkins is an annual tradition. However, I was a willing tagalong. I couldn’t help but wonder, how does a Hawaiian farm do a pumpkin patch? The answer? Very well indeed.
What a spectacular petting zoo! There weren’t just a couple pygmy goats and a rabbit for good measure. This petting zoo was a legit zoo. Gorgeous wandering chickens. Inquisitive alpacas. Cows, including the only two of the Scottish highlander breed on the island. Lumbering tortoises. Donkeys. And yes, a variety of friendly goats.
Waimanalo Country Farms has been owned and operated by the same family for generations. Whether or not a change of seasons is in the air, they know how to manage their well-oiled pumpkin patch machine.