Archive for June, 2010

Governor’s Excellence in Business Award

This has been such an exciting experience for the Walters’ Pumpkin Patch.  A month and a half ago, Jean Plummer called that she would like to submit our company to the State as an entry in the Governor’s Excellence Business Award.  There were 131 entries in the retail, manufacturing, nonprofit, and service categories from all over the State of Kansas.  These 131 entries were pared down by a panel of judges based on the written application of which Walters’ Pumpkin Patch had been chosen to be one of the five finalists.   Next came the interview with Carroll & I going to Topeka to present a talk about Walters’ Pumpkin Patch, what we do, how we contribute to the community, our employees & our capital investments over the years.  I have never felt more pride than I did at that moment telling those judges about our Kansas pumpkin patch & how it has grown from a hobby into a business on Carroll’s family farm.  And I was doing this talking dressed as the scarecrow with straw hair and overalls.  That an agritourism based business was a contender for this Governor’s Excellence Award means that we have come a very long way in recognizing that we too are a viable business. 

But alas, we didn’t win, but neither did Frito-Lay, Cunningham Courier, or the Neosho Memorial Medical Center, but Landoll Corporation from Marysville did.   Mr. Don Landoll has created a fantastic manufacturing company and gives generously to his community, employees hundreds of people, and is a great business man.  Need I say more.

So now we’re home to the pumpkins once again and I’m so tired of  replanting by hand the seeds that the turkeys have pecked out  from the ground to eat!   Believe me, we will host the Governor’s One Shot in 2011 to get rid of these wild turkeys!  

Rob Stouffer from Precision Maze is here today to cut the corn maze design.   We really, really need some rain on our corn field!  It would sure help things out with the growth of the corn.   But we can get it cut today and pray for rain tonight.

So….that’s about it for now from the pumpkin patch.   Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!   And if anyone has a “hankerin’ “to pull weeds or plant seeds, come on out!  Until next time….we’re down in the pumpkin patch.

The Weather is Hot; and So Am I!

But thank goodness, the rain has stopped and the weather has gotten much warmer at the Walters’ Pumpkin Patch.   I was pulling weeds from between the pumpkin plants down in the pumpkin patch, when I noticed several little plants that were just withering and dying!   We’ve sprayed for bugs, we’ve rotated the field so this is new ground for the pumpkins….what could be wrong!   I called the Butler County Horticulture Agent, Larry Crouse, and he came right on out.   He selected several specimen and took them right on up to K State to the pathology lab & Chuck Marr.  The good news is that there is no bacteria or fungus associated with the sick looking little plants.   The other good news is that they thought it was all related to too much rain and the forecast for this week is all hot and dry!   So me and my little pumpkin plants are all hot!

I walked the rows pulling weeds this morning in the gourd patch, and Carroll worked the ground between the rows.   We can start at 7am, but by the time we’ve had enough weeding,  it’s all hot work again!     But the recommendation by Lennie Meier from Topeka for weed control sure has helped this year.   We’ve always had such a good crop of pigweeds annually, and I think it may be better this year.   Thank you Lennie! 

We’re having our first wedding of the season this evening….hope that breeze continues to flow through the area.   So what if the tablecloths are laying all over the yard!  I doubt the bride and groom would care as long as it feels a little cooler.

Until next time:   we’re down in the Patch….finally!

Workin’ With the Weather

 

We are still trying to get all the pumpkins planted at Walters’ Pumpkin Patch.  Do all  pumpkin patches have their crop in the ground for the 2010 season?   I think the rain storms have been slowing everyone down this year!    But I’d rather have the rains, than the little sprouts dry up and wither away in a dry field.   We do not irrigate because of the submoisture with the Little Walnut River which winds around our fields.   We are lucky to have that moisture, but unlucky when the river swells over her banks and floods…taking our pumpkins “down the river”! 

We’re starting our wedding/corporate event season next week for Walters’ Farms.  Go to thewaltersfarm.com to see what we offer on our Kansas farm.  We have the white chairs purchased, and table coverings with which we have been working on all last winter.   Light green accent table cloths with little lady bugs and then we crafted lady bugs from our gourds to complete “the look” for our corporate dinners.  We purchased a new smoker so we can cook our own meat for gatherings too.   We’re practicing, so we can get the meat “just right”.

We have the vacation Bible school program this morning at our little DeGraff Community Church, so I better get ready since we can’t be down in the field until it dries up again from last night’s rains that moved through.