Harvested pumpkins, Jello Mold Farm

Harvested pumpkins, Jello Mold Farm

“I leave this notice on my door
For each accustom’d visitor —
‘I am gone into the fields
To take what this sweet hour yields.'”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, from “The Invitation”

Garden truck, Jello Mold Farm

Garden truck, Jello Mold Farm

Garden shed

Garden shed

Fall is in the air.  Mornings now are often foggy, but this melancholy grayness usually burns off making way to mellow sunshine.  I had the urge to drive in the country to see the rural landscape slipping into autumn, so even though the day started off foggy and gray, I headed north to the Skagit Valley.  The sun never did break through.  So I was prepared to photograph the lovely grays, browns, yellows and greens of our fall palette.

My first stop was Jello Mold Farm to photograph in the flower fields.  The end-of-the-season dahlias and zinnias brought an array of surprising summery colors through my viewfinder.  But I’ll save those photos for another post or two.  Today I will share photos from my walk through the flower fields.

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Monks hood

Monks hood

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Desiccated bells of Ireland

Desiccated bells of Ireland

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Pumpkin painting by Eddie Gordon

Pumpkin painting by Eddie Gordon

Gordon Skagit Farms

Gordon Skagit Farms

I suppose some people go to Gordon Skagit Farms for the pumpkins, squashes and gourds (they have over 60 varieties).  Or maybe they make the trip for the U-pick apples or pumpkin patch or corn maze.  Or perhaps they come to see the spooky Halloween dioramas and displays.  But the big draw for me is Eddie Gordon’s art.  His big paintings anchor many of the displays on the grounds.  Last year when I first wrote about Gordon’s (you can look back at that post here), I was totally bowled over by the concept of celebrating art on a working farm.  This year I was even more impressed to see that most of Eddie’s paintings were new.  What an amazing talent and body of work!

Here are some photos of Eddie Gordon’s paintings this year:

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Gordon Skagit Farm

Pumpkin paintings displayed on the side of an old barn — Gordon Skagit Farms

The highlight of my day trip to Gordon Skagit Farms was the art.  Eddie Gordon, one of the Gordon farmers, is also a talented artist, and he displays his large paintings en plein air.  (He is also offering three prints for sale this year.)  I thought the presentation of art on the farm was delightful.  I’ll show you some photos, but I highly recommend that you make a visit this month to see the paintings in person.

Close-up photo of pumpkin on the barn

Old truck with another of Eddie Gordon’s paintings, a rural landscape

A painting outdoors amidst the pumpkins and gourds

Painting of a rural road is hung over an old concrete watering trough

Another painting set back from the produce tables

Enjoy a painting while you grab a wheelbarrow for your pumpkin purchases.

Detail of another pumpkin painting by Eddie Gordon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The last fruit of summer becomes a lantern to guide us.”
— original quote by Eddie Gordon, on a sign at Gordon Skagit Farms

The old barn with Eddie Gordon’s pumpkin paintings, Gordon Skagit Farms

Pumpkins (decorative and edible) for sale

October is a perfect time for a drive in the country.  The charms of the harvest season are evident in the Skagit Valley, just one hour north of Seattle.  The snow geese are returning to their winter feeding grounds near Conway.  Farmers have gathered the bounty from their fields and are preparing for winter.  Apple trees are yielding their fruit.  And this is the month for visits to the pumpkin patch.

I met some friends to see the pumpkins at Gordon Skagit Farms near Mount Vernon.  The two Gordon brothers offer a wide array of specialty gourds and pumpkins, all grown locally on their farm.  During the month of October, this agricultural bounty — decorative and/or edible —  is showcased in strikingly designed displays, and there is a U-pick apple orchard and a U-pick pumpkin patch if you want to get your hands dirty.  The whole presentation is inviting and welcoming, but a definite step up from a gimmicky Halloween destination.  (The Gordons have created a haunted barn, with little staged vignettes, but I won’t spoil your surprise now.  I’ll do another post about the haunted barn on Halloween.)

My favorite aspect of my visit was definitely the art.  Eddie Gordon displays his large paintings outside amidst the farm implements and pumpkins.  It’s like a gallery show en plein air.  I don’t want to overwhelm you, so tomorrow’s post will focus on the art.

Today’s post celebrates the harvest — the pumpkins and the gourds.  Enjoy!

Pumpkins for sale — Gordon Skagit Farms

I loved these turban gourds.

Mini-pumpkins in orange and white. If you have an old wooden pop bottle case, display these little pumpkins instead of pop bottles.

Pumpkin on an old yellow Ford tractor.

A school group in the U-pick pumpkin patch

Decorative Indian corn and straw flowers

Apple baskets

An unusually beautiful gourd — love the color and texture and shape!

Mixed gourds — such variety!

Green striped gourds by the barn — Gordon Skagit Farms

Sneak preview of one scene in the haunted barn. Stay tuned for a post about the barn on Halloween.