Children walk through a field scattered with glowing jack-o-lanterns at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma.


Inspired by an East Coast harvest tradition, Tara Smith decided to try it at her own Petaluma farm. Now in its third year, Pumpkins on Pikes drew a sell-out crowd of about 450 to Tara Firma Farms on Oct. 22. Members of the farm’s Consumer Supported Agriculture program got first dibs on the all-day event. They brought potluck items, carved pumpkins grown on the property and, when the sun went down, gathered around a bonfire with a few musical instruments to watch their creations glow.

Heather Haun and her son Elliott Greenfield balance a pumpkin atop a platform during the Pumpkins on Pikes event.

Smith left her corporate life in long-term care insurance sles after reading Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” with her son. Horrified by the stories about corporate food production, she founded a farm on which she could raise crops to feed people and also teach them how to do it themselves. She now raises beef, pork, chicken, eggs and biodynamic produce.

Free weekly tours of the farm, 3796 I St. in Petaluma, are offered every Saturday and Sunday, on the hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information, call 765-1202 or visit

To see more photos, go to‘s photo galleries and click on Pumpkins on Pikes.