Pumpkin farm vs. pumpkin patch

What’s right name for beloved chunk of land on which pumpkins grow?

Adrian Valenzuela, Creative Commons

This past week, my roommate and I celebrated the re-opening of dining hall seating by going to lunch. As we sat in the side room munching on our pizzas, we overheard an unsettling phrase coming from a neighboring table.

A fellow student was telling his friend about how he wanted to go to the “pumpkin farm” to get in the fall spirit. I instantly did a double-take. 

Did this kid just say pumpkin… farm? Everyone knows it’s called a pumpkin patch. In fact, before this day, I had never even heard the phrase pumpkin farm. Naturally, I had to interject and let him know that what he said was not okay.

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This quickly turned into a heated debate, and the small room began to fill with cries of “you’re wrong!” and emphatic arguments such as “is a vending machine called a snack farm?” and “is a stadium called a people farm?” 

Ultimately, neither of us budged in our viewpoints, and we left that lunch with an overwhelming amount of frustration and some brand new frenemies.

But the term “pumpkin farm” has haunted me ever since, and I knew I had to make sure other people were informed before they went around saying this monstrous phrase. Let me lay out the argument for you — albeit I am a biased source.

Side #1 — Pumpkin Farm

The guy at the table next to us argued that it’s called a pumpkin farm because pumpkins are growing there. While the pumpkin patch is the specific part of the farm where pumpkins grow, the farm as a whole is called “pumpkin farm” because pumpkins are its main commodity or one of its main commodities. Basically, if it’s a farm that sells pumpkins, it’s a pumpkin farm.

Side #2 — Pumpkin Patch

First of all, can we just take a second to relish in how nice this phrase sounds — pumpkin patch. Pumpkin. Patch. The alliteration really makes it roll off the tongue.

Alright, on to my argument. Though the random dining hall guy and I agree on what a pumpkin patch is, I do not believe a pumpkin farm is culturally common. The majority of farms have more than just a pumpkin patch — there are often apple orchards, petting zoo areas and little markets where you can buy a sugary apple cider donut or some hot chocolate.

This variety means that it would be inaccurate and ignorant to classify the entire farm as one distinctly for pumpkins. Therefore, if you want to get in the fall spirit and go see some pumpkins, you would use the more specific term and go to the pumpkin patch.

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Now that I’ve given you all the information, I’ll let you decide which stance to take. All I’m saying is, who doesn’t love a good alliteration?


This article was published Oct 6, 2020 at 9:35 pm and last updated Oct 7, 2020 at 6:35 pm


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