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A haunting field trip: Kids tour farm, scary pumpkin patch

Modified: Wednesday, Oct 9th, 2013

Natasha Lange was able to take a pumpkin home following a field trip for kindergarteners from Valencia Elementary School at Crystal Bay Farm on Zils Road Wednesday. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Just before a light and chilly drizzle draped over Crystal Bay Farm on Zils Road, a group of kindergarteners from Valencia Elementary School were lucky to squeeze in an educational and “spooky” field trip in a goblin-filled pumpkin patch Wednesday.

Thanks to the elaborate Halloween set up by farm owners Jeff and Lori Fiorovich, who grow pumpkins, winter squash, apples and an assortment of herbs, the 24 kindergarteners were able to enjoy a tractor ride, a tour of the farm and wander through thousands of pumpkins. A specialty at Crystal Bay is their vast array of scary costumes, accessories, including red-eyed rats, horrifying skulls and life-size ghouls that lounge about on benches and heaps of gourds.

“They do an awesome job here,” said Valencia instructor Susie Peoples. “This is by far one of the best field trips and pumpkin patches out there. The kids love it. They learn a lot and everyone is involved having a good time.”

Lori Fiorovich said this is their biggest and best year yet in the 16 years the farm has celebrated Halloween.

“I just love that I get to open our farm up to these kids,” she said. “The kids from Valencia are just wonderful, so well behaved. Each October we typically entertain about 700 kids on field trips here.”

Fiorovich said her tours include visits to horses and chickens and an educational talk about how things grow from seeds. Students can also sample fresh strawberries.


The Crystal Bay Farm pumpkin patch is open from 10 a.m. until dusk. For information, call 724-4137 or visit www.crystalbayfarm.com.

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