It's the perfect time to pick a pumpkin

Have you picked a pumpkin for Halloween? It's the perfect time to visit a pumpkin patch! You can find local pumpkins at Fort Vannoy Farms in Grants Pass.

Posted: Oct 9, 2019 3:39 AM
Updated: Oct 9, 2019 9:46 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- It's the perfect time to pick a pumpkin, especially since Halloween is just a couple of weeks away. 

Fort Vannoy Farms in Grants Pass has 12 acres of pumpkins. They're planted in this big field during the first week of June. The pumpkins grow all summer and they're harvested around the end of September. That's why it is the perfect time to pick a pumpkin. 

At Fort Vannoy Farms, you can buy individual pumpkins. You can also fill an entire wheelbarrow with pumpkins for 39 cents a pound. 

Bob Crouse, the owner of Fort Vannoy Farms, said that he's glad his pumpkin patch makes people happy and teaches them a little bit about agriculture. 

"Just the reaction we get from the kids and the people seeing where it came from," said Crouse. "That it actually came from a field and not from a store. Pumpkins don't just come in a box at Walmart."

Right now, the Fall Harvest Festival is all about celebrating autumn and having fun. But the festival didn't start off like that. 

It started as a self-serve farm stand, according to Crouse. People originally came to pick fresh produce. The next year, Fort Vannoy Farms decided to add a corn maze. The event got bigger and bigger each year. 

This year, there's a haunted corn maze, food vendors, straw bales, camel rides and even a petting zoo. For some kids, Fort Vannoy Farms has become a place to celebrate fall. 

"I love Halloween," said Samantha Gareau, a fifth grader. "I love picking the pumpkins and everything. It's really fun."

The Fall Harvest Festival is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. all week. It will close after Halloween. 

For more information about Fort Vannoy Farms and the Fall Harvest Festival click here

Educational field trips at Fort Vannoy Farms

About 4,000 students will take a fun, educational field trip to Fort Vannoy Farms this fall. Kids will get the chance to explore an 8 acre corn maze and play in a huge corn bin. Each kid also picks a pumpkin before heading back to school. The owner of the farm said that these activities introduce students to agriculture in a fun way. 

"From a small seed, you can produce a big thing," said Crouse. "That gets them on the idea that things start small and get big. That's how life is."

In between those life lessons, kids will be able to choose from all different types of pumpkins, such as mini-pumpkins, humongous ones and even pumpkins with warts. Most students said they'll stick with a normal Jack O' Lantern. 

"I think I want a medium sized orange one," said Haley Rough, a fifth grade student. "I think I'm going to carve a smiley face, probably."

There are even more activities for kids on the weekend, such as a petting zoo. For more information about those activities click here

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