Harvest season


Miles King

Pumpkins at Huffman Farms

Cassandra Hays, Staff Reporter

The leaves are changing colors, and there is a crispness in the air. Harvest season is finally upon us, and Ellensburg has plenty of events and activities this month to celebrate the autumn season.

Huffman Farms

Hilary Huffman is the owner of Huffman Farms, a family-owned and operated pumpkin patch located at 6181 Wilson Creek Road in North Ellensburg. This is the farm’s sixth year operating. After being laid off as general manager of Cave B Estate Winery, Huffman decided to open the farm when she realized there were no other pumpkin patches in town.

“I call it ‘going from corporate to Carhartts.’ I’ve never grown a pumpkin in my life,” Huffman said. “I’m very much a believer that sometimes paths are put out in front of us and you either get on or you don’t.”

Huffman runs the farm alongside her family. Both of her children, aged 14 and 16, work on the farm during the busy harvest season.

Miles King
Huffman Farms logo

“I love the idea of family experiences,” Huffman said. She adds that opening the farm has allowed her to connect with other families within the community. “In the six years we’ve been open, we’ve seen the same families coming back year after year. We’re watching their kids grow and they’re watching our kids grow, and it’s become a family tradition.”

Admission to the farm is completely free, along with the petting zoo and tractor-pulled hayrides. Other activities offered include a kids play zone, pumpkin chucking, and a corn maze. The farm also has gift shop and a cafe where homemade food and beverages are served.

According to Huffman, the top-selling concession is their pulled pork sandwich, which includes a homemade barbeque sauce. Other food items offered include hot dogs and hot beverages such as apple cider and hot chocolate.

Huffman farms also offers a haunted corn maze every Friday and Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. Participants find their way through a dark maze in the forest, a process that takes about 30 minutes, according to Huffman. A discount of $2 is offered to students with CWU ID who want to do the haunted corn maze on Oct. 12 and 13, the maze’s opening weekend.

Miles King
Llama at Huffman Farms.

Windfall Cider Fest

For those 21 and older who are looking for some seasonal fun, look no further than the Windfall Cider Fest, which takes place in the Kittitas Valley Event Center Western Town at the fairgrounds Oct. 13. The event will bring 12 different cider houses to Ellensburg, each of which will be featuring multiple varieties of hard cider. Vendors include Bad Granny Cider from Wenatchee; Tieton Cider Works from Yakima; and two new local cider houses from Ellensburg- Wheel Line Cider and Tilted Tree Cider. Ellensburg Canyon Winery will also be offering wine, and Iron Horse Brewery will be offering beer at the event.

Food will also be sold at the event from local businesses including Fire and Smoke Barbeque and Tacos Chalito. D&M will be offering coffee and other hot beverages.

Four different bands will play live music, all of whom play bluegrass and Americana style music. The band Old Salt Union will be headlining the festival.

Sarah Maes is the main event coordinator for the festival. She was inspired to organize the event due to her love for cider and the community. “I’ve actually been a cider fan for a lot of years. I’ve watched it become more and more popular,” Maes said.

The festival is a fundraiser for the Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN), a non-profit organization that aims to connect and educate community members on the environment. Maes says she wants the event to bring awareness to KEEN.

According to Maes, the festival will be partially indoor and partially outdoor, so she suggests dressing warmly. She says to expect a lively and fun environment with great music and local cider.