If I’m not on campus, I’m usually visiting downtown Boise. But once in a while, a weekend outing will keep me closer to the College. Such was last weekend, which found me in nearby Nampa and Marsing. I was on the hunt for two things: a pumpkin, and some pie.
There are a lot of pumpkin options here. There are the usual grocery stores—Albertsons, Walmart, Winco. But Nampa also has a few farm stands and markets that also sell the big orange squash. Luckily I called my grandma, who lives in Nampa, before heading out for a pumpkin, and she put me onto Wissel Farms, which is right by Lake Lowell. I’ve been to most of the other farm stands and markets in Nampa, but I hadn’t been to Wissel Farms before. Wissel Farms is a lot bigger and more extensive than the little house-like building that I bought my pumpkin at, as evidence by the big Albertsons semi that was parked around back, but the produce stand part is itty-bitty and feels super local. The produce stand’s character is added to by the fact that the world’s fattest dog waddled out the door as I was going in to buy my pumpkin. With my pumpkin rolling around in the trunk of my boyfriend’s car, it was onto the hunt for pie.
I’m not a crazy pie person, but the transition into fall has made me crave pie like nothing else. We had driven past Karcher Ranch Market on the way to Wissel Farms, and since I knew this market sold fresh pies, we headed back there to scope them out. Karcher Ranch has a different feel to it than Wissel, and is a little more commercial feeling. In addition to produce, it has a huge wall of quirky sodas, and an antique corner. Karcher Ranch did indeed have an apple pie, but at the last moment I conceded that I could not, in fact, consume an entire pie. I was hoping that there would be mini pies, but had no such luck. I settled instead for one of their special sodas, so I didn’t walk away empty handed.
But the search for pie wasn’t over. It was about 6 p.m. by this time, and we were getting pretty hungry. So, pumpkin still rolling around the trunk, we drove over to Marsing, to the Orchard House. There really are orchards surrounding Marsing, so this restaurant is appropriately named. I really like the Orchard House—it’s cozy, and makes killer hamburgers and sweet potato fries. Best of all, they have pie. I ended up having their pear pie, which is light and so, so tasty. After dinner, we continued driving around for a little bit. Some of Marsing is very beautiful, with orchards on either side of the road, and vineyards on the hills. It doesn’t quite seem like Idaho, really.
We drove around Lake Lowell on the way back, and saw two deer. I guess it’s not called Deer Flat for nothing.
Once back on campus, we deposited the pumpkin on my kitchen table (where it will live for the next month or so), changed clothes, and went onto the Homecoming dance.
It was a nice change to spend an evening in the areas surrounding Caldwell. Boise’s my true love, but Nampa, Caldwell, and Marsing have some good things going too.
Megan is a junior Literature in English major from Boise, Idaho.