TURNER COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — There is an allure to spending time and working outdoors; it’s a point especially driven home by the feel, colors and mood of the fall season. These scenes are just about heaven for Lane Mellegaard.

“It’s so peaceful down here,” Mellegaard said. “It’s like the best place you can probably go.”

He lives in Sioux Falls but is owner of Our Farm in rural Turner County near Parker. Before, he worked in the city in sales and with cars. But his regular scenery changed recently.

“Just like three months ago, to come out and fix up our farm and plant pumpkins and make sure and cut a corn maze and basically take care of animals now,” Mellegaard said.

Now, his office space is different.

“Where it’s quiet, you can actually hear birds, and see any kind of animal,” Mellegaard said. “The cats follow you around, and my coworkers are pigs and goats.”

Megan Graber of Bridgewater visited Our Farm on Friday with her two children and husband.

“We wanted to bring the boys out for some fall fun and get some pumpkins to carve and decorate, and we saw a post on Facebook about Our Farm, so decided we’d check it out,” Graber said.

Mellegaard had previously grown pumpkins out here and sold them in Sioux Falls. But now, the operation is much more than pumpkin farming.

“Basically for years we always said, ‘Let’s go out to our farm,’ which it’s a place for my kids to have fun and get away from Sioux Falls,” Mellegaard said. “So we decided this year to spread it for the whole community, and now there’s slides and corn maze and pumpkins.”

A haybale mountain is next to where you can find ducks, pigs and goats. There are ziplines as well.

“We got gourd launchers, we got a obstacle course inflatable, and then I got a pedal track with a whole bunch of pedal cars in the back, too,” Mellegaard said.

The activities motivated Graber to come out here instead of grabbing a pumpkin at, say, a grocery store.

“For the activities mostly for the kids versus just going to a store and picking them out of a box,” Graber said. “It was kind of just a family fun day to get out and do some stuff.”

Mellegaard says 10,000 pumpkin seeds were planted at Our Farm earlier this year.

“About May 15th, so they were ready to be picked anywhere from September to October,” Mellegaard said.

This setting is now a draw for different groups.

“I got anything from field trips to youth groups to a whole bunch of classes coming out from all over the place,” Mellegaard said.

He decided to set up Our Farm, he says, to leave the city and find relaxation.

“Be my own boss and hang out with my kids a little bit more, that’s the main reason,” Mellegaard said.

He has deep roots out here.

“This is where I grew up,” Mellegaard said. “My mother lives on the place still, so she’s retired, but she enjoys all the kids coming out, too.”

  • Pumpkins from Our Farm out in rural Turner County near Parker
  • Animals at Our Farm near Parker
  • Pumpkins picked at Our Farm
  • Pumpkins growing at Our Farm in Turner County

For him, his kids are front and center.

“It’s basically my kids’ idea … I always say it’s my kids’ business, for them to basically learn how to take care of something, to grow pumpkins, to plant pumpkins, to raise them, to sell them,” Mellegaard said.

So, dad takes on a variety of roles out here.

“It’s my kids’ business,” Mellegaard said. “I’m just their secretary and their mechanic and their construction worker.”

Our Farm is open for the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but field trips can come any day.