Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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Late summer on the farm

August and September are two of my favorite months here on the farm. Being in the pumpkin patch business I love October, too, but it comes with mixed emotions of the season drawing to a close.  August and September are busy and sometimes stressful, but I love the anticipation of another Pumpkin Festival approaching.

August begins with the county fair, which is going on now.  I harvested our first pumpkin of the season yesterday to take to the fair.  Cutting that first stem of the season and carrying the "prize" back to the house is still exciting and very rewarding.  The pumpkin, squash and gourd vines grow visibly every day and the fruits are forming nicely.  It's been a little on the dry side, but we were lucky to have rain last week and it is WAY better than last summer's drought.  And, we planted more ground than ever before so are hoping for a big harvest.  

August also brings lots of planning and to-do lists.  We start working a little harder and faster to get everything done as our Sept. 21 opening day draws closer.  We've been doing a lot of weeding out in the U-pick patch.  I've been ordering merchandise and looking for vendors selling local crafts.  And, I've been talking to our seasonal employees and working out their schedules for the season.  

With the start of school we'll soon be hearing from teachers booking field trips and groups booking campfire parties.  If you're thinking of scheduling something it is never too early to contact us -- be sure you get your preferred date and call soon! 

Things are coming along, but there is always something to do.  Once we hit September it really becomes crunch time, so I'm trying to get as much done this month as I can and enjoy the process.  Pumpkin season is what we live for and I'm trying to savor the anticipation.    

We look forward to seeing you soon at the farm! 



Just a few more days!

Our 8th annual Pumpkin Festival starts this coming Saturday, Sept. 15!  We had a very long but productive weekend working on some of the last-minute things that need to be finished before we welcome visitors.  I spent most of my time in the gift shop and as of a few minutes ago it is ready to go.  I'm excited about our new merchandise including a cute selection of owl-themed fall decor, a line of scented mug mats and matching flour sack towels, handmade scarves, baby hats and girls' hair clips and accessories, and new flavors of the popular Nebraska-made HR Poppin' Snacks flavored popcorn -- Camo is fun, and the Kandy Korn is almost too pretty to eat.

Terry spent a lot of time with his power washer today, cleaning the corn crib, picnic tables, and hay racks.  There's such a list of little things like that which we do so the farm looks tip-top for our visitors.   Attention to detail is very important to us and we take pride in keeping everything neat, tidy and well-maintained.  Terry is almost done with the new corn stalk teepee and hay climb with slide, and the rubber duck races are now set up, too. 

Tomorrow we'll finish cleaning out the Pumpkin Barn to give us a place to put all the pumpkins, squash and gourds we'll be harvesting later in the week. In a couple days we'll head to Missouri for our beautiful mums, and then continue crossing every last item off the to-do list.

We hope to see you soon on the farm!  Don't forget that opening weekend, Sept. 15-16, is our Early Bird weekend.  The Early Bird gets the worm -- free gummy worms, that is -- plus will get first-dibs on this year's crop, 10% off gift shop purchases, and can enter a drawing for free tickets for a return trip.  All attractions will be open, so be here and be the first to enjoy them!

We hope to see you soon at our Nebraska pumpkin farm!


Family Time

One of the best things about running our pumpkin patch business is that every fall we become the place where our families and friends tend to gather.  We have places to entertain (without even needing to clean the house!) and lots of folks who we don't see very often usually stop by this time of year.

This was the case last Sunday when we celebrated my grandma's 85th birthday.  We took a hay ride, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire, and ended the evening with cake in the schoolhouse.

My niece Grace helps Grandma blow out the candles. 


We really had a neat mix of relatives and near-relatives all together that day.  Not only were the Jacobsons gathered for the birthday celebration, but my Aunt Cathy's mother (not an official family member, but I've called her "Grandma Stine" all my life) and Cathy's sister Ellen were there.  Our brother-in-law Greg (married to Terry's sister), niece Zoe and newphew Luke happened to come by at the same time.  Everyone was on the hay ride together, and I realized how special that was and felt fortunate that we could have that experience.  Just a perk of the job, I guess! 


Grace (aged 3 1/2) gets a ride from Luke (20 months) - -what a little stud! 


P.S. -- I'm SORRY it has been SO long since my last blog entry!  It was a busy couple months getting the pumpkin patch ready for our Sept. 18 opening, but things have settled into a pattern now and I hope to blog more often.  This Sunday is our Fifth Anniversary Bash, celebrating the day we first opened to the public (Oct. 1, 2005).  Here's a complete listing of our upcoming events.  The Pumpkin Festival continues through Halloween.  Hope to see you soon at the farm!

Oct. 3 – Five Year Anniversary Bash! Celebrate the fifth-anniversary of our opening day with free treats, face painters, and a jump-in from the Lincoln Sport Parachute Club!

Oct. 9 – Doggy Day. Bring your canine friends (on their leashes, please) for a day at the farm.  Doggy admission is $4.00 and proceeds will be donated to the Capital Humane Society.  Volunteers from the CHS will be on-site from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with adoptable dogs and information. Dog treats and water dishes will be provided.

Oct. 16 – Ag Day.  Get up close and personal with agriculture!   We will again be partnering with the Conestoga H.S. Future Farmers of America (FFA) to bring you a day filled with agricultural demonstrations, fun farm-themed contests and activities, lots of animals, and many hands-on learning opportunities!

Oct. 30 – Goblin’s Egg Hunt.  The fun begins at 10:30 a.m. with our third-annual hunt (open to children ages 12 & under).  Be there early as the hunt will begin promptly at 10:30. Bring a sack or basket and join the fun!

Oct. 31 – Halloween Party. Children in costume receive a Trick-or-Treat goody bag.  HUGE pumpkin sales and season-end specials in the gift shop! 






I don't think there's anything that says "America" quite like a parade.  The community spirit, the families, the anticipation and excitement of the just can't beat it!  Our small hometown of Weeping Water held its annual Limestone/Independence Day celebration this past Saturday, so we loaded up our antique high-wheel wagon and headed to town. 

We've had a major heat wave here which broke just in time for the celebration.  It was a little cloudy and breezy, but it felt great after the heat and humidity of the past week.  Terry and I rode in the wagon and tossed out candy while our brother-in-law, Greg, drove.  I didn't get any photos of our float this time, but here's a photo from our county fair parade last summer.  My dad is driving one of the antique John Deere tractors he restored.

 I had a unique perspective from my perch in the front of the wagon and was able to get some nice crowd pictures.   




Our next trip will be to Murdock, NE for their parade July 4th.  We wish you and your families a safe and happy Independence Day!


Fond Memories

Our weather has been cold, rainy, and downright gloomy the past few days.  It was a welcome surprise when one of our pumpkin patch customers Deanne emailed some photos of her kids visiting the pumpkin patch last fall.  I remember their family well, because Terry sold his prized "butt pumpkin", a true natural wonder, to their teenage son.  It was hard for Terry to part with his treasure, but having been a teenage boy himself he knew the pumpkin was going to a good home.

The first photo is one I took of the prized pumpkin with its new owner.  The next two photos were taken by Deanne, and show their two girls on the nature trail and the pumpkin in its new home.   




 Ahhh, the fond memories of fall!!!


Horsin' Around

Happy 2009!  Now that the holidays and the first week of the new year are behind us, our thoughts begin to turn toward this fall's Pumpkin Festival.  There is so much to do in the next 9 1/2 months!  We have lots of plans, and although much of it can't be started until warmer weather arrives, there are plenty of office-type tasks to keep me busy inside.  Sales tax, income tax, insurance quotes...  Besides our farm business, Terry is a self-employed building and remodeling contractor and that makes for even more fun and exciting recordkeeping duties.  Although these tasks aren't my favorite, it sure feels good when they're done! 

The weather this morning was sunny and relatively warm, without any of that good old Nebraska wind that seems constantly with us in the wintertime.  So, I grabbed my camera and headed out to visit the horses.  They were enjoying the weather and feelin' downright frisky. 

Did you ever wonder what horses do for fun, when they think no one is watching? 





They walk around on two legs!  Or maybe Sully was just raring up, I can't be sure. 

They also enjoy a good roll in the hay ... literally.


I hope you find plenty of time in this new year for horsin' around!



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