The Von Bergen family started doing a you-pick pumpkin patch near Hebron when Mike Von Bergen was nine years old.
“He wanted to grow pumpkins,” so creating a you-pick patch was the next logical step for them at the time, his wife, Tracie Von Bergen, said. “He is 52 now.”
A third generation of Von Bergens are now part of the Von Bergen’s Country Market at 9805 Route 173, Hebron. They have offered farm-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers since 1979, Tracie said. Over the years, they have expanded into summer and fall events that produce to the public.
One of the highlights of their fall market is a sunflower maze. Like a more traditional corn maze, there are spots inside the field set up to take photos, she said. Because they are sunflowers, too, the field changes from hour to hour as the flowers follow the sun across the sky.
“People are not really trying to get out,” she said of the sunflower field. “They just want to spend time here.”
While Von Bergens’ fall kickoff is set for Sept. 24, some other area farms, including Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard in Pingree Grove, Stade’s Farm and Market in McHenry and Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, have started their fall seasons.
Here are some you might like to visit in the McHenry County area.
All Seasons Orchard, 14510 Route 176, Woodstock: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30. Offers an apple orchard, pumpkin patch and corn maze along with a petting zoo, giant swings, jumping pillow, mini zip line, pedal karts and tire mountain. Call 815-338-5637 or visit allseasonsorchard.com
Cody’s Farm and Orchard, 19502 River Road, Marengo: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Apple and pumpkin-picking available on weekends, apples in September and October and pumpkins in October. Also available are hayrides, play area, a 5-acre corn maze, rubber duck races and pedal tractors. Call 815-568-7976 or visit codysfarm.com.
Dave’s Pumpkins, 9112 Algonquin Road, Huntley: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Pumpkins available plus pumpkin bowling, mini-broom corn maze, hay rides and pedal tractors. Cider donuts and spooky hay rides on weekends starting Sept. 17. Call 847-893-0002 or visit davespumpkins.com.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard, 42W813 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. In addition to the pumpkins and apples, Goebbert’s offers a haunted house, straw maze, train ride, corn box, jumping pillow, pedal karts, carousel, petting zoo and pony rides. Call 847-464-5952 or visit goebbertspumpkinpatch.com.
Richardson Adventure Farm, 9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove: Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 3 to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 12 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 30 with Maze ‘til Midnight offered Sept. 10 and Oct. 7 and 8. Pick your own pumpkins plus a corn maze with 9 to 10 miles of trail across 28 acres, wagon and train rides, carousel, slide, zip line, petting zoo, jumping pillow and pedal karts. Call 815-675-9729 or visit richardsonadventurefarm.com.
Royal Oak Farm, 15908 Hebron Road, Harvard: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sunday through Oct. 31. Pumpkin and apple picking with playground, petting zoo and on weekends, a carousel and train ride. Call 815-648-4141 or visit royaloak.farm.
Stade’s Farm and Market, 3709 Miller Road, McHenry: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Pick-your-own hours end at 5 p.m., and apples, raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, beets, kohlrabi and flowers are available to pick depending on the season. The Shades of Autumn Festival runs through Oct. 30 and includes hayrides, a petting zoo, mazes, inflatables, train rides and pumpkin cannon demonstrations. Call 815-675-6396 or visit stadesfarmandmarket.com.
Tom’s Farm Market, 10214 Algonquin Road, Huntley: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30, including Columbus Day, Oct. 10. The pumpkin fields typically close a half an hour before the rest of the farm. Other activities include a straw maze, a 6-acre corn maze, petting zoo, pedal tractors, tire mound, jumping pillow and duck races. Call 847-669-3421 or visit tomsfarmmarket.com.
Von Bergen’s Country Market, 9805 Route 173, Hebron: Farm store open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with you-pick starting at 10 a.m. Corn mazes, a play area and barnyard animals are available in addition to pumpkins, sweet corn and other homegrown vegetables, fruit and flowers. Fall season starts Sept. 24. Call 815-648-2332 or visit vonbergens.com.