Pumpkins are plentiful across North Texas

Posted Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Patches of pumpkins Here are some of the pumpkin patches in and around Tarrant County: The Pumpkin Patch in Arlington First Christian Church Arlington with Rush Creek Christian Church of Arlington puts on this patch to raise funds for their youth groups. Little ones can enjoy storytelling, lawn games and a pumpkin maze. Good to know: Special events are scheduled, including a pumpkin decorating contest on Saturday. When: 11 a.m. to dusk daily. Through Oct. 31. Where: 910 S. Collins St. Arlington (1.5 miles south of Cowboys Stadium) Info: 817-277-2634, fcc-arlington.org The Pumpkin Patch in Flower Mound Hundreds of pumpkins cover the grounds of this patch, which provides wagons to help you with your purchases. Lots of great photo opportunities for your family. Children can also enjoy bounce houses, a hay maze, hayrides and more. Good to know: Parking is $5. Picnic tables are provided for individual use, but use of tables by any large groups or parties must be reserved and confirmed. Recommended ages: All When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Through Oct. 31. Where: Double Oak Ranch, 5100 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound Info: 817-430-4536, www.flowermoundpumpkinpatch.com Flower Mound Pumpkin Village Free activities for the kids include hayrides, hay pyramid, bounce house and bounce maze. Other activities have fees. Good to know: Pumpkin prices range from $1 to $30 with all profits going to charity. Food and drinks available for purchase. Recommended ages: All When: 9 a.m. to dusk, daily. Through Oct. 31. Where: Pumpkin Village Pumpkin Patch, 4908 Cross Timbers, Flower Mound Info: 972-878-8264, flowermoundpumpkinvillage.com Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze in Grapevine Pick out pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, gourds, hay bales and cornstalks. The corn maze consists of two acres of towering cornstalks, some 9 ft. tall, that lead through twists, turns and dead ends. Good to know: No dogs allowed. Admission is free. $5 per person for corn maze, free for children 3 and younger; $2 per person for hayrides. Cash only. When: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday. Through Oct. 31. Where: Hall’s Pumpkin Farm, 3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine Info: 817-991-1052, hallspumpkinfarm.net Mainstay Farm in Cleburne Besides a bounty of pumpkins, the Johnson County farm offers peanuts, bales of hay and cornstalks. Food and drink also available. Good to know: Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for children 3-12 and seniors. On Nov. 2, the farm will sponsor a fun-filled pumpkin recycling day. When: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 2. Where: Mainstay Farm, 900 W. Bethesda Road in Cleburne Info: www.mainstayfarm.com Source: Star-Telegram archives

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The orange-dotted pumpkin patches of fall have arrived.

Farmers and pumpkin patch owners alike say this is a stellar year for the orange and white gourds.

“Pumpkins are looking good,” said Lindsey Pyle, a co-owner of the 450-acre Pumpkin Pyle in Floydada. “The worst of the heat held off and we finally got a little rain, which was a huge help.”

North Texas pumpkin patches are reaping the benefits.

At Hall’s Pumpkin Farm in Grapevine, pumpkin pickers can choose from some 600 gourds of all shapes and sizes. Mainstay Farm in Cleburne is bringing in two tractor-trailers of pumpkins, or 200,000 pounds.

Jim Wilson, who owns Mainstay with his wife, Marianna, said pumpkin patches and “agritainment“ have soared in popularity. Mainstay offers a 1960s gas station with vintage sodas, hayrides and sheep races.

“There is just something about going out in a cool day in October and picking a pumpkin,” Wilson said. “It’s about making memories with your family.”

Mainstay purchases 12 varieties of pumpkins from farms in Floydada, which bills itself as Pumpkin Capital USA and supplies much of North Texas with its pumpkins.

Floydada’s history with pumpkins began in the late 1950s, when B.A. “Slim” Robertson started growing gourds on 10 acres. As demand grew, other Floydada farmers joined him.

The town 45 miles northeast of Lubbock now grows roughly 1 million pumpkins every year, according to the Floydada Chamber of Commerce.

In recent years, however, drought and record-setting heat plagued many of the farms’ pumpkin crops.

In response, the Pyle farm this year planted seeds directly on drip irrigation tape — as opposed to either side — to maximize moisture. A drip irrigation system delivers water directly to the root of a plant, where it seeps slowly into the soil and prevents water loss from runoff.

“It worked,” Pyle said. “This is the best year we’ve had in a while.”

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