farm fail

October 4, 2010 |  Category:   friends life outings

These photos were taken in New Jersey and this is all I got from the day. I mean, you know, we had planned a pleasant apple picking outing with our friends, Little Brown Pen, after dropping off a wholesale order at Semplice in Montclair, but that didn’t happen. Wanna know why? Because family farm activities have become like mobbed, long lined, high stress, high ticketed circuses. At least at the farm we tried to go to today. We chose proximity and convenience since it was only about a 30 minute drive from Nichole’s house, even though this farm was out of apples to pick. We were stuffed on super sized, big portioned diner food and we figured it would still be a relaxing and fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. As soon as we pulled within a block of the driveway, however, it was clear that we weren’t even going to make it past the entrance. It was mobbed, I’m telling you, MOBBED. Like Disney World caliber lines to get on a hayride to the pumpkin patch and a wall of people near the farm store entrance, and then I remembered…we’ve been here before. This was the farm where I elected to stay behind at the farm store with Claudine, then a baby, because the hayride to the actual farm was like, 10 dollars a person. Mark, Mia and our friends rode up to the patch while I waited with Claudine. Yes, I really can be that cheap sometimes.

I don’t know if it’s only this particular NJ farm that was off the charts nuts, or if it’s because it was a gorgeous Fall day or because it was the first weekend in October and everyone had Halloween and pumpkins on their brain, but I don’t remember any of the Long Island farms being this crazy. I know the girls have Halloween on their minds. They’ve been practicing trick or treating all weekend, leaving stale candy leftover from last Halloween found in their plastic pumpkin pails, all over the house so that I can hand out candy when they yell, “Trick or Treat”. Who practices Trick or Treating? But judging by the way Claudine kept swinging her pumpkin around and dumping all her candy out each time…uh, yeah, maybe she needs to.

We tried to salvage the afternoon by taking the kids to a wooded park so they could run around outdoors as a consolation prize for sitting in the car all the way to the farm, only to turn right back around and return to Montclair. Mia, who is the oldest, didn’t buy into that. She knew what she was missing: apple cider donuts, hayrides, pumpkins and other forbidden treats at the farm store. Our wooded adventure got cut short too after only about 20 minutes because various kids and adults had to go to the bathroom.

So we all headed to Whole Foods.

Now here’s a new low in social activity – group grocery shopping. With the family.
Here are some snippets overheard from our scintillating conversation:

“You know you can buy that same organic granola from Costco and save a lot of money”.
“I’ll watch your cart in line if you want to run and get those short ribs”.
“Oh, cool. Where’d you get that?” “Try aisle 6”.

At least we didn’t go to Ikea to dump the kids off in Small Land and have dollar hotdogs and cones. Not that we didn’t think about it.

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  • unha October 4, 2010 at 9:23 am

    the weather WAS amazing..

    the first photo is awesome. looks like C is red riding hood.

  • nichole October 4, 2010 at 9:27 am


    I don’t know how you did this, but you managed to make our bust into a funny story.

    And I am cooking those short ribs right now.

  • Jenna October 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

    haha, nichole, evan suggsted ikea – or the park – when he conferenced outside our car. Mia got all excited and started chanting, Ikea! Mark and I looked at each other and said nooooooo, we can’t be that lame.

  • nichole October 4, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Yeah, that would have been lame. But you know what? The kids would have loved it. Small Land! Small Land! Small Land!

    Perhaps we should abandon our businesses and open up a restaurant with a ball pit and play area attached.

  • Lauren October 4, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Darn it, I am an adult and love planning Ikea trips… I’m with Mia on that one! This was a great entry!

    I remember taking those trips to do apple-picking, etc. from the DC area out toward W. Va in NOVA. We used to stop at one town that still had its operational general store. I’m pretty sure it’s closed now. The two families that went were so cheap we packed all of our food for the day (no buying out for us!).

  • bonnie tsang October 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The fun part of parenthood! 😉

  • bronwyn October 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

    The pumpkin farms around here get like that. Last year we went the same weekend as some street fair the town was having. What should have been a 1 hour drive took 3 hours!! The 3 year old held up pretty well. The husband did not. This year her school is taking a field trip to one of the farms on a Wednesday and I am going. I hope it’s better durring the week. The apple farms around here aren’t as crazy – they don’t have pony rides.

  • bronwyn October 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Oh, and I agree – Claudine does look like little red ridinghood.

  • Lani October 4, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Oh my god…how funny. And that part about practicing trick or treating is too too much. Thanks for all the laughs!!!

  • Lecia October 4, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Oh no – what a bummer. We’ve had similar experiences around here with pumpkin patches, and have evolved to going really early, preferably on a weekday if there’s an inservice day at school, and to a farm as far from the city as possible. Crazy.

  • Annie October 4, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    We went to NJ apple picking once… and had the same experience… it was a zoo. line to get in and all..
    Since that found a great orchard in New Paltz and repeat every year.
    It was just to much to take.
    … But I guess is all part of the experience.

    And by the way, you have the most beautiful, well dressed girls I have ever seen.

  • Lisa October 4, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    You guys should try Warwick, NY – its a pumpkin patch/apple picking paradise this time of year. There are a few “secret” orchards that only the locals go to to avoid the madness. Drop an email if you come up our way! L

  • Brandy October 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    We went to a farm this weekend, they wanted $45 for a family of four to do the petting zoo and corn maze. A little much…Apple picking was over too, much to our dissapointment.

  • olivia rae October 4, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    hahaha loved this post! claudine is too cute – i wish i could’ve seen her “practicing” trick-or-treating.

  • Emma October 5, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Every girl (big or little) should have a red coat …. cute story 🙂

  • Pawan October 5, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Heyheyheyheyhey HEY… Nothing to feel ashamed about. I love Whole Foods! That place is like Disneyland for food. Great post. Isn’t it sad that it seems harder and harder to get away from it all? We’re taking 6 classes to the pumpkin patch in a couple of weeks. I’m bracing for the pandemonium.

  • Pawan October 5, 2010 at 2:04 am

    By the way, saw your mention on Babble. Congratulations:)

  • Twiggs October 5, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Hello Jenna! Oh boy this was a funny day… I started to read your posts and one about “why do we blog?” kept on my mind until this very day. And you know why? Because I write on a blog and I want to keep it honest… and i am always thinking if i am doing something different from everybody else! probably not… because like someone said once “it is almost impossible to be original”. but this is to let you know that i love reading your stories, because they are true to themselves… they are plain & simple. they illustrate real life. and i guess that is the main difference… that is why i love it so much! thank you for sharing and i just love your sense of humour! take care! twiggs

  • Deanna October 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I’m just another fan of your blog and your kids’ clothes. They are beautiful by the way. Was surprised to see my town Montclair mentioned. It’s tough keeping kids and life fancy on a budget, so glad someone else is trying too.