Archive for January, 2011
Well I do often wonder how many pumpkin patches make it so much work going from one six weeks time frame to the next frame the following year? Wouldn’t you think that with 329 days between our annual pumpkin fests, that we would have some time off? I suppose we could concentrate our work schedules here at Walters’ Pumpkin Patch to allow for more vacation time…..but we don’t do that any more than any other agritourism facility does. It’s all a continual process of learning, making it better, and adding new to stay ahead of the competition. And though this philosophy makes it a lot of work, it’s also what makes it fun.
We’ll be going to the NAFDMA (North America Farmers Direct Marketing Association) conference soon in the Baltimore/Philadelphia area. With a bus tour of agritourism facilities in that area, a great trade show of new products that we can offer our visitors, and wonderful educational sessions and workshops, the conference will surely rejuvenate and invigorate us and our brain cells for Pumpkin Fest 2011.
So while the weather stays cold in Kansas, we’re cleaning up the gourds and deciding what they should be in the gift shop this year….a chicken, a snowman, a frog, or a pumpkin? We have some really great large gourd/pumpkins that we dried and stained and are now permanent pumpkins! Petrified pumpkins! We’re planning our new constructions to make our Kansas pumpkin patch better for our visitors, trying out new recipes for our concessions and bakery, and going over the ideas and thoughts of what we need to do to make our Walters’ Pumpkin Patch an even better destination. So for now……..we’ve got alot of thinking and planning to do before the weather warms up!
The Walters’ Farm for the first time will have a booth at the upcoming bridal show at Century II in Wichita next week. If you are planning a wedding in 2011, or have family or friends who are….be sure to tell them about the show. It does sound like one stop shopping for all the bridal needs to make life easier.
We have been asked to speak at the Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph, Missouri and also at the Cloud County conference that is coming up soon. I will be talking about our pumpkin patch, but mainly about agritourism. I love sharing what we do, and how we got to where we are today. Our Kansas pumpkin patch has been a continuing work in progress for the last 20 years, and I imagine (and Carroll fears) that it will continue to be as such for the next 20 years too!
And then comes the NAFDMA (North America Farmers Direct Marketing Association) conference in Baltimore/Philadelphia area. This is such an educational/motivational/fun experience with others from across the U.S. and Canada who are doing exactly what we do and we all come together to share our experiences, learnings from previous years, and our trials. Plus we bus tour multiple facilities in the area where the conference is held each year. Let’s hope the weather cooperates more than it did in 2010 when we got into Lancaster Pennsylvania’s two worst blizzards in years! Not only are we speakers for the facebook session, I have also been asked to participate in the NAFDMA board which I agreed to do. NAFDMA has given us so much wisdom over the past years, that I’ll gladly give my time to help with their efforts.
For now, Carroll is out clearing brush and trees from a cattle lane out in the pasture, and I’m working on gourds for our gift shop this fall. Until next time…..we’re trying to stay warm!