Aquebogue’s Breitenbach Farms has opened its first-ever U-pick pumpkin patch, a new low-key option for those looking to enjoy a day at a North Fork farm this fall.
“We’ve been working at it for more than a month, pretty much nonstop,” said co-owner Emil Breitenbach, who added that he has wanted to start a U-pick since the farm opened at the former Wells Homestead in 2019.
Building the patch was a family affair. Breitenbach, his brother Kyle, his girlfriend and parents all chipped in to build the picnic tables, a shed and deck for the snack shack and all the fencing. They also set up the hayride.
“Everything is from scratch,” he said. “We still had to do the farming and run the stand and find the time and resources to get it going in the back.”
Breitenbach originally explored growing the pumpkins at the U-pick spot, but chose to grow them with the rest of the farm’s produce on Church Lane because it would have been too costly to install an irrigation system just for the seasonal pumpkin patch.
“We still grow the pumpkins ourselves,” he clarified. “It’s just a mile away, where we grow everything else.”
Visitors will find a large variety of pumpkins, including small oranges and whites to 80-pound moose varieties and winter squash, as well as cheese pumpkins and Blue Hubbards. There are areas set up for photo ops, a children’s hayride (parents ride free) and games like cornhole and large tic-tac-toe and checker boards, which can be played with small pumpkins.
The snack shack features Breitenbach’s own apple cider donuts and crumb pies, as well as other local items such as ciders and North Fork Potato Chips. Parents will be able to enjoy bruschetta packs with the farm’s blueberry balsamic vinaigrette, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Guests can also purchase stickers and cups of paint to decorate their pumpkins on-site.
Breitenbach Farms’ U-pick will be open weekends through Halloween.
“We’ve gotten a great response,” Breitenbach said. “There is a place for them to come that is a lot more low-key, a little bit secluded, more open air than some of the other, very, very busy options.”
The U-pick is located at 460 Main Road, Aquebogue. Visit breitenbachfarms.com for more information.