BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — It’s only the middle of September but a local farm is making a big transition to fall by opening up its pumpkin patch. Cherry Rock Farms is hoping to take advantage of some nice weather to get families out to pick some pumpkins.
It’s about a week or two earlier than usual but under a hazy orange sun, the Vankulen family is ready to select their favorite pumpkins.
Holsen: Do you have a strategy when you’re picking pumpkins? What do you like to do? Hudson: Grab the biggest ones.
Those big pumpkin dreams are music to the ears of the Patzers who own Cherry Rock Farms.
“This year we expanded our pumpkin patch to include, I believe, about a third more. We’ve just had so much popularity with families going out and grabbing their own pumpkins and the patch is just beautiful,” Patzer said.
On top of the pumpkin patch, there’s also a free corn maze for the family to enjoy. It’s a tradition they’ve had going now for a few years.
A lack of rain has presented some positives and negatives for Cherry Rock Farms. The field isn’t muddy making it good for picking. However, the early opening day is the result of the current drought conditions.
“Due to the dry conditions, we just found that our vines for our pumpkins were dying back early. We just decided that it’s pumpkin time. Fall is here and we are just celebrating it,” Patzer said.
It’s great news for Hudson and his siblings. They have a lot of plans for their haul.
“Usually we carve them and my dad likes to cook the seeds,” Vankulen said.
A solid family tradition already underway this fall.