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Hello, Pumpkin Patch…

Today certainly felt like pumpkin patch season is upon us. You know that type of day when your feet sigh with relief when you sit down at night? That was today. We started off our day (after chores, of course) at Washington Elementary School in the second grade classrooms where we kicked off our agriculture education program, “In the Class and On the Farm.” It was a privilege to guide the students in the discovery of the “what” and “why” of Kansas agriculture. Did you know that it is impossible to live a day without being affected by agriculture? Just ask those second graders, they’ll tell you! Here they are wrapping up their class time illustrating one of the many ways they were affected by agriculture today.

ICOF

After class it was time to hustle back to the farm to prepare the grounds for the pumpkin patch season. We open on September 27, and there is much to do. By the time the sun went down, we had checked off a lot of items on the master “To Do” list- prepping the new school room, filling sand boxes, painting signs, moving equipment, etc. As we worked around the farm, we found at least five of these big guys. This isn’t the best picture, but I couldn’t make myself get any closer. I think his body was about two inches long, not counting his legs. I have never seen so many giant spiders in one day. I know they are great for taking care of the gardens, but they sure can take us by surprise (and sometimes yelp out loud)!

Spider

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm – McPherson, KS 2014

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And the Winner Is….

The winner of the 3rd Annual Johnstown Giant contest is Daryl Johnson, mayor of Johnstown. He and his wife, Kola, grew the 227 lbs. giant. They were the reigning 2012 champions as well. Congratulations, neighbors!

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The Johnstown Giant weigh-in is always one of my favorite days of the season. I love the storytelling, music, dancing, and food!

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch- McPherson, KS 2013

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Here Come the Giants!

1-2-3 seeds to a hill

1-2-3 seeds to a hill

What a great Spring day for planting!

It is always a tough call as to when to plant.  Each variety has it own expected timetable; however, this timetable assumes a normal growing season.  When does that happen???  So the planning begins.  We spend way too much time watching weather patterns, checking the local weather forecast, studying planting grids and graphs, predicting when the rain will come (and not come), pulling out temperature assumptions, and consulting the almanac-all the time looking for the “perfect planting time”.

When it comes down to it, we always end up poking those seeds in the ground whenever the weather cooperates.  The last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June end up being reserved for planting-just in case.

So today ended up being the first day of planting-not too wet for Johnstown’s soil (fairly heavy on the clay), yet hopefully rain in the next few days.  The Johnstown Giants were planted first because they should mature in 120 days (give or take).  That is the longest maturation rate of the varieties we will plant this year.  I can picture them now!

Papa has some great helpers this year!  Thanks Charis and Ben.

Papa has some great helpers this year! Thanks Charis and Ben.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2013 – McPherson, KS

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Johnstown Giant

The annual Johnstown Giant Pumpkin contest took place at Grammy’s yesterday evening. The largest pumpkin, a Dill’s Atlantic, weighed in at just over 160 pounds!

 

The giant was grown by Daryl and Kola Johnson of Johnstown.

 

The evening was such fun with filling food, conversation, and music! Corky explained the founding of Johnstown with several others adding in details as well.  I love the stories of my family and heritage and last night was full of them.  Leland led in singing, and the grandkids led in dancing. Quite the perfect night!

     

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2012, McPherson, KS

 

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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A Gift

Today’s weather was a surprise gift for us on the farm.  In the midst of a drought partnered with scorching heat, God gifted us with an amazing day!  When we left our home in McPherson to head to the farm, it was already a very humid 85 degrees.  By the time we drove the 10 miles north to Johnstown, it was 74 degrees with a fabulous cool breeze!  During the mostly cloudy day, we had light rains on and off.  It was such a refreshing time.

We are beginning to truly gear up for the pumpkin patch season–trimming the tunnel, painting signs, etc. We also hauled off a tree that had fallen. There is still a good 9 feet of trunk standing.  We are excited to see what Mark Childs, our chainsaw woodcarver, will do with it! Charis and Ben took their job very seriously.  They are supposed to be taming the kittens, so that they will be friendly by October. The kids had a great time playing with the kittens on the hill.

We were so thankful for a reprieve from the heat!  It was a joy to work around the farm, and it was a reminder that autumn really is just around the corner!!

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch at Johnstown Farm 2012
 
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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Johnstown Giant

If you are on our mailing list, or if you live in the Johnstown area, you are aware of the 2nd annual Johnstown Giant Pumpkin contest.  Last year we hosted the event for the first time. We invited neighbors from the Johnstown area to try their hand at growing a giant pumpkin. On the evening of the contest, we weighed and measured all the entries. There were prizes for everyone (thanks to Kola Johnson). My favorite part came over supper when stories were shared of relatives and friends “back in the day” Johnstown.  Leland brought his guitar and closed out our night with some singing. What a great time to enjoy neighbors and reflect on my heritage and the work, tears, and yes, laughter that went into building up a homestead and small country community.

Well, as a sneak peek, here is our plant that is growing this year’s Johnstown Giant. I admit with this year’s season, our giant could have been planted earlier, but we are still holding out hope for a GREAT BIG entry!

This year’s Johnstown Giant hopeful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2012, McPherson, KS
 
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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch – Giant Pumpkin Contest

We had some entries delivered for the Johnstown area giant pumpkin contest.  If you have a giant you’d like to drive out, give us a call!  It is exciting to see those big ones rolling in.  The Guinea Hens and chickens didn’t quite know what to make of all the commotion.  I am impressed that these gardeners had such great results-even in a drought year!  Way to go!  I hope to get some pictures on here soon, but you can come and see the giants yourselves.  They will be displayed throughout the season.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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