Offers farm experiences for everyone
By Shirley Shuman
Opening Saturday, the Bostic Farm Pumpkin Patch offers something for all ages. Hillary Bostic, whose husband Branden is the fourth generation to operate the family farm, explained how this interesting attraction began.
“We started three years ago with the hope that little kids could visit along with those interested in farming who don’t live on a farm. Actually, we’ve found that many adults want to have the farm experience,” she explained. While many of the activities are geared toward children, the atmosphere of the Pumpkin Patch area also appeals to adults.
One of the attractions which draws the most attention is Applejack, a 12-feet tall scarecrow. Applejack interacts with those around him by greeting them to the Pumpkin Patch with “Welcome to the Pumpkin Patch,” but he also talks about the weather and a few other subjects.
The barrel train is also popular with the children. This is a small, four-car train with seats inside cut-out barrels, It is pulled by a four-wheeler. Along with the barrel train, kids are drawn to a sensory corn trough filled with corn kernels, Those who dig deep enough will find small toys such as tractors and cars which they may keep
Children and sometimes adults are drawn to the steer-roping contest. Not quite as exciting as it sound, participant learn to rope a steer head attached to a stable building. Along with this rodeo-themed activity is a bull-riding machine which provides fun for all who try it.
Then there is pumpkin bowling, which is just what the name implies. The “bowlers” use a small pumpkin to try to knock down butternut-squash bowling pins. This, along with the pumpkin sling shot, has proved to be quite popular. Here, the Pumpkin Patch owners have driven two posts into the ground and tied the launcher—basically a huge elastic cord, between the two. Here Bostic noted that players must buy the pumpkins, which are generally small so they can be retrieved for more shots.
In addition to these activities, the Bostics sell pumpkins of all different varieties, shapes, sizes and colors—even blue! White pumpkins are the best sellers, Bostic noted. The family raises a majority of the pumpkins they sell, but they also buy some from Amish communities.
For those who want photographs of their experiences, Bostic said, “There are a lot of social media displays where you can take pictures.” Another popular practice she mentioned is “a “family measuring stick where kids can get measured every fall while having their pictures taken.” She mentioned that several families have measured their children each year they have been to Pumpkin Patch and then compared the pictures showing their heights to see how much each has grown.
Another quiet activity is the petting zoo with several different types of animals including two Longhorns with a six-feet horn spread. There are also pony rides. Those who want to participate even further may buy buckets of food to feed the animals.
After Saturday’s opening day, Pumpkin Patch is open from 9 a.m. until dark or, as Bostic noted, “until we run out of pumpkins”, each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the month of October.
Hillary Bostic explained that groups are welcome to their “Patch,” and that Nicholas County Head Start students from throughout their school system have already planned a visit. Also, the local Home School group schedules Pumpkin Patch for a field trip. That group numbers “about 60.” She will also take some of the attractions of Pumpkin Patch, including Applejack,to Davis Elementary’s upcoming Fall Fest.
“We’re open to field trips and larger groups,” Bostic said. “We have bathroom facilities and picnic tables with lots of benches.”
Pumpkin Patch is located on Riffle Road near Exchange. Bostic explained that after traveling down Chapel Route 2 ½ or 3 miles, one should go 2 ½ miles down Riffle Road to reach their farm. She emphasized, “Look for signs!”