Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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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!

 
 

The Latest from the Farm

Lots of exciting things have been happening here on the farm!  All of our pumpkins, squash and gourds are in the ground.  We were pleased to be done about a week ahead of our usual schedule.  Planting began on May 15 with the giant pumpkins, hard shell gourds (such as the apple & swan varieties), and a few types of squash with longer growing seasons.  We added a Cushaw squash and Blue Hubbard squash, both which can grow to be quite large.  Our goal is to have a big pile (or piles) of fantastical giant pumpkins and squash for photo ops--now our part is done and Mother Nature takes over!  We hope for plenty of rain and warm temperatures to give all the seeds a good start.  The May 15 seeds are all sprouted and some are starting to put on their third and fourth leaves already.

On May 22 we hosted a field trip/play date for a group from Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE.  We took them on a hayride to see the horses and everyone enjoyed meeting our calf Alice, who is a month old already.  She is mischievous, ridiculously cute, and growing by the day.

With all the seeds in the ground we used this long Memorial Day weekend, which we usually spend planting, to do some painting on the barns.  The animal barn is done, one of the two wood-sided walls of the big barn is done, and the second side is power-washed and ready for primer.  This second side is the most intimidating, so we may drag our feet a little on getting that one done...J   We'll keep you posted!  Hope to see you soon at the farm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Done Plantin'

We started our planting last Thursday (5/28) and finished up on Sunday evening.  This is record time for us -- maybe after six years we're finally getting the hang of it! (KNOCK ON WOOD...I wouldn't want to jinx it for next year!)

We planted four "patches".  One of the two big patches south of the house has all of our specialty colored pumpkin varieties, along with all the gourds and squash.  That should be a fun one to watch.  We planted a new pumpkin variety called "Knucklehead", one new large/bottle-type gourd variety, and three new, very decorative kinds of squash.

We're excited about offering hay rides for the first time this year!  The second large patch to the south will be where we stop to let hayrack riders choose their pumpkins.  It has the small pie pumpkins, the giant Big Max pumpkins, and two Jack-O-Lantern-sized varieties.  I don't know if anyone will choose the giant pumpkins from the field (they weigh 50-150 lbs!) but it should make for some great photo opportunities.

Two more Jack-O-Lantern varieties went into the north patch by the Chicken House.  The small patch by the schoolhouse will again be a U-Pick patch and has pie pumpkins, Turk's Turban squash, and some funky-looking Blue Hubbard squash.

The seedlings should start coming up this week, and then the bug and weed control begins.  It's a labor of love for sure.  We'll grow some good ones for you!

 

Terry planting in the north patch.  He finished up just before a surprise hail storm hit!

 Rocket gets excited about planting time, too!

 
 
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