One of the North Fork’s most recognizable Christmas tree farms is getting into the u-pick pumpkin business. Starting this Saturday, Sept. 14, The Pumpkin Patch at Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm will be open on weekends, offering u-pick pumpkins, children’s train rides and fireside wine and cider tastings.
This is the first time the farm has sold pumpkins in its 32-year history. Shamrock is typically open from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, allowing families to cut down their own tree or choose from a pre-cut selection. Since 2016, the farm has also been offering local wine tastings to guests to enjoy by the fire pit after picking out the perfect tree.
“I wanted to add another season so it wasn’t just a few weeks open and we’re done for the year,” said Jonathan Shipman, whose father founded Shamrock in 1987. “We seem to have a lot of the same families coming every year, so we wanted to bring those people back by offering the same kind of thing in a different season.”
Shipman and his wife purchased the wooded, roughly five-acre property directly behind the Christmas tree farm last year for the Pumpkin Patch. After taking two months to clear the land, Shipman — with the help of a longtime farmer friend — planted the two-acre u-pick field in July. There are 14 varieties in all, ranging from traditional orange to palm-sized white pumpkins.
“I wanted everyone to find something they could enjoy,” Shipman said. “Everybody does orange pumpkins, but I wanted something a little different. The white ones are great for painting.”
In addition to the u-pick pumpkins, the farm also has Woodside Orchard cider tastings. Suhru, Salt Bird Cellars and Surrey Lane wines are also available as well as fare from Greenport Jerky and Southold’s Harbor Lights Oyster Company. Guests can also enjoy games, such as cornhole.
“It is a really family friendly event,” Shipman said.
The Pumpkin Patch isn’t the only new addition to Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm. Three weeks ago, Shipman also laid out the farm’s first-ever Christmas tree maze lined with winding rows of fledgling evergreens. The 2.35-acre maze is sited across from the pumpkin fields, and while guests are welcome to walk around the maze this year, the best is yet to come. In about five years, Shipman estimates the trees will mature, reaching 12 to 15 feet in height and six-feet wide.
The center of the maze is 96-by-76-feet, large enough to host intimate, special events behind the walls of Christmas trees. Inspired by his three-year-old sons, Shipman hopes to one day use the maze for educational children’s scavenger hunts and family movie nights.
“Evergreen mazes are few and far to come by,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for fun events.”
The Pumpkin Patch is open weekends from Saturday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Christmas tree farm will reopen for the winter the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm is located at 20685 Main Road, Mattituck