As of yesterday, there are just 3 months left until opening day of the 7th season here at our southeast Nebraska pumpkin patch! I can't believe how fast time can fly. We've been very busy on the farm and finally got all our pumpkins, squash and gourds planted just a few days ago.
The weather has been perfect--lots of warm sunshine with just the right amount of rain for the seeds to sprout quickly. We had some issues with mice and/or voles actually digging our seeds out of the ground and leaving nothing but several seed-sized holes in dozens of hills. They seemed to particularly like the squash and white pumpkin seeds. Using traps, poisons, cellophane bags tied to sticks, and repellents, we seem to have that problem licked (we hope!) So, after re-ordering seeds and replanting, we can move on to the next phase, watching the seedlings sprout and grow while trying to protect them from bugs and keep the weeds under control.
We've started work on several projects including repairs to the barn roof, rebuilding and painting the loading chute (the ramp kids climb on to reach the big round haybales) and fixing fences. We have all the materials on hand to start building an overhang on the south side of the barn, where we'll move the admissions counter and pumpkin weighing station. Today we made a trip to Lincoln after landscaping blocks to improve the fire pit. And, I've started ordering new merchandise for the gift shop. Its a very busy but exciting time as we work to make the farm and pumpkin patch the best it can be for our fall visitors.
Speaking of visitors, yesterday we hosted a field trip for Sandee's Place daycare out of Lincoln. There were about a dozen 1-4 year olds who really seemed to enjoy their visits with the horses, goats and chickens. Their morning ended with a hay ride and sack lunch at the picnic tables. You can check out the photos on our Facebook page. So, you don't HAVE to wait until fall to come and visit -- we welcome groups of all ages for field trips or campfire parties in the spring and summer too! Our website has all the details. Hope to see you soon at the farm!