"It's not going to be hot forever. It was like this last year too," said farmer Don Gifford. Gifford of Gifford's Farm on Biggs Highway near Greenhurst, is ready for the people
who typically head to his farm in search of fall decor and fun.
And he's ready for them. Due to demand and frequent requests, he's added a pumpkin patch this year. In the past, he had pumpkin patches but they were across Biggs Highway from the store. This year, he planted pumpkins right next door so there will be no hazards crossing the road. Now families can take a wagon that they bring along with them and head to the pumpkin patch. "People asked me every year "Do you have a pumpkin patch?" So I made one," said Gifford.
He has also installed a free corn maze for children. They must be accompanied by an adult. The corn maze is open Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Gifford said that people don't normally begin searching for fall items until the weather cools off. "People hold off because it feels like summer. Some come anyway because they want to decorate. But mostly fall shopping is dictated by the weather," he said. "Hotter weather has kept them away."
People want to buy corn shocks, Indian corn, mums, bundles of straw, and pumpkins. In late September or early October they opt for the smaller pumpkins - the baby pam and field trip varieties. In mid October, shoppers seek larger pumpkins perfect for carving.
"The white pumpkins are popular and people want gourds. People like unusual gourds," he said.
He planted five acres of various pumpkins this year. He said the growing season was a good one. "We have very good pumpkins this year. It rained at good times early on and now it's dry," said Gifford. He grows most everything he sells. He may buy from other farmers if he finds something unusual that he doesn't have on hand.