Local pumpkin patches embrace additional attractions
The word Halloween reminds most people of one thing: pumpkins. These vegetations annually serve as an essential decoration for the upcoming holiday season.
When people want a pumpkin to carve or decorate their home with, they visit a pumpkin patch. In previous years, pumpkin patches used to be as simple as picking out the one you like. However, much more than pumpkins are involved in the today’s process.
To attract more customers, some patches have incorporated food stands, rides, haunted houses, mazes and more into their dispensaries. People ranging from young children to the elderly visit these extravagant locations, hoping to join into the harvest festivities.
Businesses incorporate recreational activities for customers
Two pumpkin patches in particular include these special activities for the public’s enjoyment. The Pumpkin Patch on First and Nees and Spraetz’s Holiday Landscapes located on Bullard and Pollasky offer these different features to appeal to a broader audience.
Spraetz’s Holiday Landscapes, owned by Jeff Spraetz, opened on Oct. 7 and will run until Halloween. The patch remains open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. This pumpkin patch was originally located on First and Nees, but Spraetz decided to move it to a more central location.
“I wanted the community to be more involved,” Spraetz said. “It seemed like a good idea to move it to Old Town Clovis for a more neutral location. I plan on keeping the patch here for years to come.”
Alaina Schneiter, an 8-year-old who visited Spraetz’s Holiday Landscapes along with her parents, came to the area originally in order to visit a famers’ market nearby. According to her, they were excited to hear that a pumpkin patch, along with food and rides, were going to be incorporated into the event.
“We heard there was going to be a farmers’ market,” Schneiter said. “My family and I usually come to the farmers’ market and it was just a plus that there was going to be a pumpkin patch also. There’s a lot of different sizes and colors of pumpkins and it’s fun to try to pick the perfect one.”
All the pumpkins for sale are grown in Clovis by Spraetz. The amount of time it takes each pumpkin to grow varies, depending on its size and type.
“The pumpkins are locally grown,” Spraetz said. “I grow them here in Clovis, so it’s very easy to transport them. I started growing some five months ago and others five weeks ago. The time varies for each so you just have to wait and see.”
The Pumpkin Patch on provides delights for all ages. From professional portraits to a ferris wheel, the public is free to enjoy the many different varieties of events to participate in.
The patch itself doesn’t contain the average, run-of-the-mill pumpkins, as many vary from orange to green and red to white, and can weigh anywhere from 50 lbs to ten oz.
Jailene Minjarez, an 11-year-old who visited The Pumpkin Patch, enjoyed her time while looking for the right pumpkin.
“There’s a lot of unique pumpkins,” Minjarez said. “It makes it more interesting and more difficult to pick out a pumpkin when there’s so many different choices. Usually, I want to buy all the pumpkins there. It’s nice that they have rides also because it makes it more fun.”
The prices depend on the weight of the pumpkin, and typically sell for $1 a lb. There is the exception of the small pumpkins, which sell for 50 cents each.
Family-owned patch expands right-off-the-vine business
Single Palm Pumpkins on Barstow and Dickens offers yet another option for the season’s pumpkin connoisseurs. Open everyday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., this family-owned pumpkin farm allows the buyer to cut their own pumpkin off the vine.
This patch was named after the single palm tree that sits at the property’s entrance. Business for Single Palm has grown immensely over the years, according to co-owner Marta Stencel, who remains enthusiastic about the outcome of this year’s revenue.
“We’ve been doing this patch for about five years,” Marta said. “The first year we raised about $7,000, but this year hopefully we’ll raise around $20,000. There’s a lot of expenses and we’ve been paying it all off but from this year on it will just be what we make.”
More than just pumpkins are available to the public. A hayride, corn maze, hay bail maze for younger kids, and story time are open for the consumers to enjoy.
“Elementary schools visit Single Palm,” Stencel said. “We needed more stations for the kids to interact with, so we began to start new attractions. The kids seem to really enjoy the activities we have for them.”
Sophomore Sarah Lim thoroughly enjoyed her time spent at Single Palm Pumpkins. The idea of cutting her own pumpkin off the vine excited Lim while simultaneously frightened her a little.
“I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy cutting my own pumpkin,” Lim said. “It was good because I got to choose whichever one I wanted but there were bugs and spiders on them which scared me a lot.”
Although this farm allows you to cut your own pumpkin, this was not the case when it began. The Stencel family used to gather up the pumpkins themselves and place them in a barn.
“We used to pick all the pumpkins ourselves,” Stencel said. “However, people started commenting that they would much rather pick them themselves. So the process began where we left the pumpkins on the vines.”
Everything at the patch is free except for the pumpkins, which are $5 each no matter what size. With the poor economy, the Stencel family thought it would be a good idea to only charge for pumpkins.
For more information on local attractions, read the Oct. 18 article, Behind the scenes of The Big Fresno Fair.