Pumpkin Patch Open: Just in Time, Just up the Road

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One more weekend remains for the pumpkin picking season, at least for the lone local patch.

Papa Patterson’s Pumpkin Patch is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

The patch is located about four miles up Railroad Grade Road at the old Patterson Homestead.

Lynne Birdsall and her granddaughters Ella Seyferth, Darcy Millikin and Jenna Bauer assist with various activities at Papa Patterson's Pumpkin Patch. The new venture is the only pumpkin patch open to the public in the area this year.

Lynne Birdsall and her granddaughters Ella Seyferth, Darcy Millikin and Jenna Bauer assist with various activities at Papa Patterson’s Pumpkin Patch. The new venture is the only pumpkin patch open to the public in the area this year.

Visitors to the patch may choose their own pumpkin, enjoy a cup of cider, get some tasty treats or pick up a handmade craft or two. Complimentary hay rides around the property are available that follow the St. Joe River and offer views of St. Joe Baldy.

Lynne Birdsall heads up the operation with help from her daughters and granddaughters.

“Jenna (Bauer) does the face-painting, Darcy (Millikin) pulls the hay trailer and my five-year-old granddaughter Ella (Seyferth) greets customers and helps entertain. My daughter-in-law is the farmer, helping take care of the field and the pumpkins,” Ms. Birdsall said. “This is a family operation. I couldn’t do it without them.”

The patch is named after Walt Patterson, Lynne’s companion.

“The girls always called him Papa, so we decided to name it for him,” Ms. Birdsall said. “I live just across the river here so I just row over in my boat. It only takes me a few minutes.”

Lynne leases the property and raises cattle on the property. This is her first attempt at a pumpkin patch.

“We tilled up a section of the field, fenced it in and planted pumpkin seeds,” she said. “Plowing the field was tough because we kept getting hung up on baling twine. This must have been where the Pattersons always fed their cows and just left the string after cutting the hale bales loose. We must have collected two pickup loads of string by the time we were done.”

More than 250 pumpkins were sold during the first two weekends the patch was open. More than 60 were sold on Sunday alone.

“We thought it would be nice if people didn’t have to go out of town to do something fun,” she said. “Picking out your own pumpkin from the patch is so much more fun than getting one from the store. It’s an experience that children especially enjoy. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback, so we are hoping to do it every year.”

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