Orange Crush

By Winter Dorval - Staff Reporter


ake kids, add pumpkins, blue skies, a corn maze and you've got the recipe for a fun day at the Carpinito Brothers U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze.

Fun is how it all began for the farming operation that is now a Kent institution.

"Back in the '60s on the family farm, the Carpinito brothers used to grow squash. They'd enter it in the Puyallup Fair competitions to be judged on quality, and size," said Thomas Carpinito, a fourth-generation descendant from the original Carpinito brothers.

Adam, Thomas's sibling, said the original brothers grew pumpkins in their backyard.

"Their hobby led them to start selling them on the side of the road, and it grew into a full retail business that's been around for over 50 years," Thomas said.

Today, the Carpinito Brothers produce business boasts that it is the closest pumpkin patch to Seattle.

Pumpkin season has always been a huge part of the operation, they've always sold pumpkins at the main store north of downtown Kent, Thomas said.

"Unlike some of the other pumpkin patches, this one is on most people's way, and they don't have to drive the extra few miles because we're so close," Adam said.

The original backyard patch has grown into a U-pick Pumpkin Patch which includes a corn maze at South 277th and the West Valley Highway. Tractor-pulled hay rides are also being offered.

Lately it has expanded to include the former site of the Smith Brothers Dairy and now features a Farm Fun Yard.

There, kid-friendly activities, such as Rodeo Ropin' Cows, an area with sidewalk chalk, and a water feature for rubber duck races, with water pumps at either side of the PVC pipe so kids can send the ducks back and forth.

Oh, yeah, and young farm animals: ducks, chickens, pigs, a cow, a kangaroo, goats, and a tortoise.

The kids also get their own maze.

"The hay maze is the perfect height for kids to run around in all day since they can't see over the sides," Adam said. "We really saw a demand for it, because the corn maze is too big for kids. They get scared, and lost so we wanted to fill the need for something catered towards them."

The brothers, though, want people to know that Carpinito Brothers is more a fall phenomenon.

"October is a very important month for us. Pumpkins are one of the larger crops we grow, along with the corn," Adam said.

But Thomas quickly explained: "This is a working farm, as well as a pumpkin patch. We also sell wholesale and retail crops."

"We organize our year by seasons. Spring and summer, we have the seasonal flowers, fall is pumpkins, winter is Christmas trees," Thomas said.

And, of course, there is the produce. The Kent Valley was once one of the biggest lettuce growing regions, and Kent once set a record for the world's largest salad.

But still, pumpkin season reigns supreme.

"I think everybody loves fall, the turning of the seasons. They love to celebrate, and all of the festivities," Adam said. "You can involve the whole family, a lot of times I'll see grandparents with their kids and grandkids. Coming here is a great tradition."

The U-Pick Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze is at 27508 West Valley Highway N. Admissions for the Corn Maze are $10 for adults (ages 13 and older), $7 for children (ages 5-12), and free for kids 4 and younger.

The Farm Fun Yard is across the street at 6720 S. 277th St. Admission is $5 per person (2 years and older). Hayrides are $3 each, ages 4 and older.

New director takes oer at Highline Chorale

Highline's Chorale is singing a new tune this fall. Dr. Janene Nelson is lead...

Snuggle up with a movie this Halloween

You don't have to be scared alone this Halloween. A Halloween movie night a...

Orange Crush

T ake kids, add pumpkins, blue skies, a corn maze and you've got the recipe f...

Suicide Stopped

An alert Highline staff member and local public safety officers helped stop a potential suicide on campus last week. While a staff member was working, he noticed a suspicious male wandering the East Lot around 6:25 a.m. May 25. The staff worker called Highline Public Safety who responded to find the individual running around with a rope in his hands, looking for a place to possibly hang himself. This prompted Public Safety to contact Des Moines Police and South King County Fire and Rescue. By the time first responders came to the scene, the distraught man climbed into a tree near Building 99, ready to use the rope on himself. First responders talked to the man, successfully convincing him to come down from the tree. After the turmoil settled the individual was transported to a nearby hospital for an evaluation. Sgt. George Curtis of Public Safety said this was the first time he has encountered someone attempting to endanger their own life on campus.

Staff member passes out

Public Safety said the actions of the staff member who reported the incident is an excellent example of how “see something, say something” could potentially save a life. A staff member was reported to have passed out in Building 4 at 8:10 a.m. The person was sitting in their chair when they lost consciousness, then fell out, hitting their head on the ground. Public Safety arrived but the staff member refused any medical treatment.

Late night fast food runs a no-no

A suspicious car was spotted on campus at 1:35 a.m. on May 28 by a Public Safety officer. The car was occupied by two students and parked between buildings 29 and 22. The two students had gone to Jack in the Box and decided to eat the fast food on campus. They were told by the officer to leave because campus was closed.

It's time to get ready for the big one

Stomp out sexual assault

Halloween Happenings

Women's volleyball has playoff chance

Health group explains services

Rocks break, earth quakes

Take a knee - it's heroic

New director takes oer at Highline Chorale

Women's soccer hopes to stay in first

No-No boys say no to military draft

All shook up

The art of the world

Snuggle up with a movie this Halloween

Men's soccer team playoff bound

Political cartoosn more than silly pictures

Students like diversity but not long lines

The man who changed the war

Orange Crush

College cash filling the wrong pockets

Highline professor seeks city council