Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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Counting Down...

When we get into the month of August we usually start our countdown.  How many days until opening day of the pumpkin patch season?  How long do we have to get everything on the "To Do" list finished?  There's a list on our refrigerator door with the days written out and we cross one off each night....30...29...28...27...

As of today we have 26 days to go.  Anything under one month really starts to feel like crunch-time.  The weather has been nice lately (that's one positive aspect of not getting any rain!) so we've been accomplishing a lot.  There's always some maintenance/fix-up issues to tackle, as well as building of new attractions, cleaning, mulching, painting signs, more cleaning, marketing, phone calls, arranging employee schedules, setting up the gift shop, planting flowers, etc.  As we get down to the last 10 or 14 days we'll start decorating around the farm, setting up attractions like the duck races, wheelbarrel maze and corn box, moving fences, getting the nature trail in shape, buying groceries and supplies, picking produce...

It's a lot to do but definitely exciting for us.  After the trying summer we've had, filled with record heat and worry about the drought, we're thankful fall is almost here.  We work all year for the moment when we get to open our doors to our wonderful customers once again.  So, see you in 26 days, and counting!




Pumpkin Planting is Done!

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!


Party on the Farm

I wanted to share a few more photos of springtime on the farm.  This is such a colorful time of year--the sky is SO blue, the pastures are so lush and green, the flowers are blooming and there are birds of every color, from bluebirds to orioles.  Did you know that we offer springtime and summertime campfire parties and field trips?  Imagine sitting under the stars on a warm summer evening, around the fire ring with your friends, family, sports team or other organization.  The frogs around the creek and pond will serenade you, and later in the summer they'll be joined by the cicadas singing.  All campfire parties include a hay ride.  The kids may even get to help us gather the evening eggs.  And, you don't have to do ANY of the work--we can provide the food and decorations if you'd like!  Click here to see pricing details and instructions for making a reservation:   

Hope to see you soon on the farm!

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The farm pond with a pair of geese





Back in the swing of things...

Six days into 2011 and I'm finally starting to feel the inspiration that comes with the fresh posibilities of a new year.  I haven't written a blog since fall so there is much to report on.

We had the best pumpkin patch season we've ever had, thanks in large part to the AMAZING weather in October.  We sincerely thank each and every customer who visited the farm this past fall, whether a new guest or a loyal returning visitor.  This was our sixth season, and we celebrated the five-year anniversary of our October 1, 2005 opening day on October 3rd.  Three sky divers from the Lincoln Sport Parachute Club jumped in next to the south pumpkin patch, much to the delight of the many visitors who were on hand to watch.  We also had a face painter and handed out free ice cream treats.  We had a great time showing our customers how much we appreciate their support, which has helped us go from approx. 400 visitors our first year to over 3,800 this year.  It is humbling to think that this many people took time out of their busy schedules to visit our farm.

When the season was over, the pumpkins fed to the cows and goats, and everything put away, we took a short but really relaxing vacation to the Ozarks.  We got to enjoy the late-season fall foliage while we reflected on the past season and began making plans for our seventh Pumpkin Festival in 2011.

Our main focus for the coming season will be making our operations smoother, safer and more convenient for our guests (and ourselves).  This will include rearranging our retail and admissions area, adjusting the hay ride route, and adding more credit card terminals.  We also hope to make some improvements to the barn and make the nature trail even more scenic and inviting.  I'm sure we'll cook up more ideas in the coming months, but these are our thought so far.

We're excited because both of our adult heifers, Molly and Fern, are expecting calves this spring.  Gabby, Jasper & Emmett, our goats who were just 4-5 months old this fall, are growing fast and have thick, bushy winter coats.  The horses also have soft, shaggy winter coats to keep them warm.  Despite staying warm and cozy, I think we're all looking forward to spring!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your New Year is off to a great start.  See you soon at the farm!



County Fair, Part II

Another Cass County Fair has come to a close.  As a kid, this was a sad event because it meant that the start of the school year was near.  As an adult with a seasonal fall business, it means its time to kick it into high (higher?) gear!  Our opening day, September 19, is now less than six weeks away.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was blogging (and panicking) about it being TEN weeks away??

Before I get to work on all the painting, cleaning, ordering and advertising I need to be doing, here are some final images from the fair...


This is our niece Grace greeting a Jersey calf.


One of the most popular events at the fair is the Mutton Bustin' competition, where kids see how long they can hang onto a running sheep.  The folks from McClain's Mutton Busters do a great job!  (Is it me, or does the next kid in line look a little nervous?)


Our friends from the Conestoga FFA (Future Farmers of America) had a float in Saturday night's parade.  This is the group that helped with our Ag Day in 2008 -- we're planning another one this year!  Driving the tractor is FFA Advisor Jon Anderson.



And finally, here is my dad, Mick Jacobson, competing in the antique tractor pull with his 1938 John Deere G.  He got second place -- my brother, pulling with the same tractor, beat him by two inches!


Christmas Wishes from Our Farm to Yours!

Merry Christmas from Bloom Where You're Planted Farm!

I'm getting ready to start my Christmas cards today, but first I wanted to write to wish all our customers and everyone at Local Harvest a wonderful holiday season. 

This is a peaceful time of year for us at the farm.  All of the pumpkins are gone, the fields plowed, and everything put away from the fall.  Although we probably could get to work in the shop building some of the projects we have planned for next year, that can wait until January.  For now, we're getting caught up on our "real jobs" (the ones we still rely on to pay the bills!) and enjoying having some free time on the weekends.  Most of our shopping is done, and we've been trying to get out to see some of the holiday sights around Omaha, Lincoln, and our nearby small towns. 

For those of you who have visited the farm and befriended our animals, here's what's going on in their world.  Molly, our bigger heifer, is visiting my in-laws right now (specifically, visiting their young bull, in hopes of producing a mini-Molly next year).  Our younger heifer, Fern, is becoming friendlier all the time and is really loving the leftover pumpkins -- you should see her go at them!  Our "baby" horse Dash isn't such a baby anymore.  She's growing all the time and we have her halter-broke and are able to lead her around now.  Her dad, Sully, is a big brown teddy bear with his heavy winter coat.  Mama Sachi is currently at the horse trainer's and I'm looking forward to finally getting to ride her when she comes home after Christmas.  And, as if we didn't already have enough horses, we bought a new mare, Abbie.  She's tall and black with a wavy mane and big white blaze on her face.  She's very friendly and usually the first one to the fence to greet you. 

Rocket is enjoying lots of quality time in his dog bed in the house, and like the rest of us is trying not to over-indulge on all those tempting Christmas treats.  We'll all need to go outside and exercise after the holidays!  With the way this past year has flown by, the time to get out there and start working toward next fall will be here before we know it.  Until then, we're trying to slow down and savor the season, and I hope you will be able to do the same.  We wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas.  See you in the new year!








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