In the spring of 2014, we decided to start something unique in Hamilton, Montana, and to the Bitterroot Valley, a "U-Pick" pumpkin patch. For many years after the turn of the century (so, 2000's, not the 1900's), Fox Meadow Farms west of Hamilton had a successful pumpkin patch that many children, young and old, enjoyed every fall. We were family friends, and when they closed their farm to focus on other endeavors, we sought their expertise and insight into the art of the pumpkin patch.
After extensive research of pumpkin varieties, talking to local growers and farmers, looking over our land, and planning, we "broke ground" on our pumpkin patch! A drip irrigation system was designed and built for each row of pumpkins, weed sheeting laid to prevent the growth of weeds, and the shovels brought out. We planted, planted, watered, planted some more, and let the sun shine. The kids were delighted to see the seeds slowly push their way out of the ground, spreading from tiny tendrils into broad green leaves.
We had fun readying the farm for the fall season, and for you, our visitors to the patch. Homegrown corn stalks where cut and readied for decorations, signs were made up and hung, and friends near and far contacted to the let them know of the "opportunities" that are ripe for the picking. Our first season ran from September 18 - October 31, 2014.!