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Preparations . . .

We enjoyed a weekend of preparing the farm for the upcoming season of Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch. We all do our own parts during the year, but my favorite time is when all the family comes down to work together. The beautiful weather was just what we needed to keep us going as we worked outside. I love that coolness in the air. It makes everything feel so….autumnish! Justin was working on preparing the trail for the barrel train, Dan was busy in the shop creating contraptions for the destruction zone, Papa was wiring the converted education room, Grammy fed us all, Angie and I were working on scheduling and store preparation, and the grandkids… had the most important job this weekend. They were cuddling the two new kittens and putting together scarecrows.

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

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Pumpkin Carving

Nick Mourn will be out at Grammy’s this weekend carving. His unique style brings lots of smiles to those of us watching him create. Here is his character from last year:

  

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2013- McPherson, KS
 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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When Pigs Fly

This was my first time to attend the annual When Pigs Fly event at the McPherson Airport. It was fantastic! The day was packed with activities for every age. Of course, the BBQ contest caught my attention right off. Even at 8 am, the place smelled amazing, making it difficult to wait for lunchtime. Rides from horses to helicopters were available too.

When we were approached by the committee to bring the Grammy’s Barrel Train and Build-N-Blast, we excited. The event is a fundraiser for scholarships in the field of agriculture, so being the agriculture education nerds that we all are, we loved the idea. Thanks to all the other volunteers and patrons, the day a success!

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Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch McPherson Kansas 2013

 

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Flowers!

Johnstown Farm looks amazing in the mornings! The flowers have begun to blossom. They are out in full force  in the early sun. If you are close by, you should drive by, but they do shut during the heat of the day and evenings, so come early.  I am loving the insects crawling around (except for those nasty squash bugs that we have to watch for). One of these flowers had for bees-our favorite pollinators-in it just before I snapped the picture. Go bees, go!

July flower  Flower being pollinated  Baby Giant in July

Check out these soon to be Dill’s Atlantic Giant pumpkin.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2013 – McPherson, KS

 
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Posted by on July 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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Burning, Burning, Burning

We put our pumpkin patches to rest this past weekend by burning the fields. There are a few reasons to burn a field after a crop. One of the most important reasons for us is to kill the squash bugs that like to overwinter down in the soil. We choose to use as few chemicals on our fields as possible (pesticides, herbicides, etc), but when it comes to squash bugs, there is no great organic solution that has been offered to us to control the nasty bugs over acres of pumpkin fields. We use field rotation in an attempt to “outrun” the insects, guinea hens to eat the live bugs, and field burning to kill the overwintering insects. Despite these efforts, there are times when we need to spray, but these measures do help. If anyone has any suggestions on efficient and effective squash bug control PLEASE let us know!

We didn’t even have to call the fire department this time.

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2012 – McPherson, KS
 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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Final Weekend for the Season

I can hardly believe that this weekend is the final chance for families to come out to celebrate autumn at Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch. Somehow the past 5 weeks have flown by! We have enjoyed meeting many new families and students this season.  Join us for one last hurrah this weekend! There are still pumpkins waiting to be chosen, train rides to be taken, pumpkins to be smashed, and family memories to be made. Sundance Farm will have Scotty out to pull the wagon on Saturday, so bundle up and come on out!

     

Grammy’s Pumpkin Patch 2012 – McPherson, KS
 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Grammy's Pumpkin Patch

 

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