As pumpkin patch pictures fill Instagram feeds and jack-o’-lanterns light paths to houses, pumpkin patches throughout the community fill with visitors.
During the rest of the year, these patches are not as popular among locals and tourists. Some local pumpkin patch owners are working to change that.
Farmer in the Dell Pumpkin Patch is a pumpkin patch located off Wire Road that offers multiple activities for patrons of all ages to celebrate fall. This patch gives patrons the ability to catch a hayride, walk through the sunflowers, get lost in a crop maze and interact with their barnyard animals.
Marie and Wheeler Foshee both own the property and maintain its integrity day-to-day. Wheeler Foshee is an Auburn professor who teaches vegetable production and insect management.
Going into their 12th year at the pumpkin patch, the Foshees are experienced agriculturalists. They said they spend the 11 months of the year outside of October caring for the land the patch sits on.
Marie Foshee said all money made in October will be put towards offseason maintenance.
“We need the tractors because you can only imagine the toll a pumpkin patch has on the land,” Marie Foshee said. “If you want to make money, don’t get into pumpkin patches.”
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While running the pumpkin patch in the fall, the Foshees also grow peaches in their newly planted orchard. They grow tomatoes and corn during the summer for extra revenue.
Rocky Top Pumpkin Patch, another pumpkin patch in the area, is open every day in the month of October to give locals an opportunity to be in the field.
Although a good amount of their revenue comes from the pumpkins, Rocky Top also has a barn that is used as a venue for weddings, corporate events or celebrations.
Jan Lawrence, owner of Rocky Top, now cares for the property her father bought in the 1970s to raise cattle on.
“We’ve had cattle on this land from 1973 through 2009, when we built the wedding barn,” Lawrence said. “Now we’re raising fences, clearing trees and growing hay to get some cattle back to this land.”
Rocky Top is also beginning an event called Christmas at Rocky Top, where they will offer pony rides and other holiday activities.
The Jack O Lantern Lane pumpkin patch is celebrating serving the community for 15 years by bringing “a fun place for the entire family” to Lafayette, Alabama.
In the month of October, families brought their kids to enjoy hayrides, train rides, face painting and gem mining.
Tammy Morgan and her husband own Jack O Lantern Lane. In addition to a venue for weddings, reunions and corporate events, Jack O Lantern Lane also offers a skeet shooting course year-round to allow locals and visitors to test their skills.
“We have something going on year-round, but now it’s the pumpkin patch,” Morgan said. “We also grow some hay when the pumpkins are not growing.”
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