October might as well be called as ‘Pumpkin month’, as this is when the humble pumpkin gets venerated and is used in everything, from lantern carvings for Halloween to being savoured as soup, or a lip-smacking dessert – and everything in between.
So for everyone caught by the yellow-orange wave of the season, Jucker Farm is where you can indulge in some pumpkin obsession. Jucker farm is an agriturismo located in two properties: ‘Juckerhof’ in Seegräben and ‘Bächlihof’ in Jona. Both locations have a farm, restaurants, and shops where you can buy products made with farm produce.
From September until the end of October, the farm celebrates pumpkin season with a display of spectacular theme-based pumpkin sculptures, pumpkin carving events, a pumpkin show (at Bächlihof in Jona) and more. In addition, there are plenty of options for children to play, and one of the biggest draws is the food at the restaurants. The food truly pays tribute to the season. We have been visiting the Juckerhof in Seegräben for the last 3 years and have never come away disappointed.
By public transport: take the S14 train to Aathal station. You could opt to walk 20 minutes up an inclined pathway that leads to the farm property or take a shuttle bus (available during peak season) for CHF 5 (children up to 16 years travel for free).
By car: Juckerhof is around 35 minutes from Zurich HB. There is a parking lot a short walk from the farm, however, this can get full during peak season, so you could park at the train station instead.
Things to do, sights to see
Juckerhof, Seegräben has plenty to offer for visitors of all ages. Entry to the premises is free and a spectacular view of the Pfäffikersee (Pfäffiker lake) unfolds as you enter the property. The restaurant is open all year round. During the pumpkin festival, it offers a buffet that serves pumpkin-based dishes ranging from soups to pasta to desserts. The farm shops also sell a host of pumpkin-based products such as pumpkin oils, seeds, preserves, etc. You can buy all varieties of pumpkins that are on display. From mini ornamental pumpkins to Halloween pumpkins and all kinds of edible squash, they have it all.
If you want a break from all that pumpkin sighting and feasting, stroll through the apple orchard which has a labyrinth and maze. Entry to the orchard is charged at CHF 6 per person, children up to 5 years can enter for free. The orchard also has a barefoot experience, where people can walk on various pathways from stones to glass.
Younger kids can also entertain themselves at the goat enclosure, where children are allowed to enter and pet and occasionally feed the goats. There are also a couple of tractors and a haystack that seem to be quite a hit with young kids.
But of course, the star of the show during the pumpkin festival is the pumpkin sculptures, which are quite eye-catching. Each year, the theme of the sculptures changes. With ‘Mythical Creatures’ being the theme for this year, we sighted a unicorn, phoenix, dragon and a few more works of art made entirely with pumpkins.
Once you have had your fill of all things pumpkin and eaten your way through the restaurant’s offerings, get yourself a wagon (available at the parking lot) and cart your tired children out; or load up the wagon with the pumpkins you bought back – or do both!
Juckerhof has something for everyone and it pulls out all the stops during the pumpkin season. Don’t miss it!
(For more details on the ongoing pumpkin festival, visit https://www.juckerfarm.ch/)
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