Archive for April, 2012
It’s that time of year when we start thinking about the Farmers Markets that will be starting again in a week. We are signed up for the Old Town Market in Wichita, and also have been accepted to come to the El Dorado Farmers Market again. We’ll have our long handled dipper gourds that are designed into birdhouses with lots of unique shapes. We’ll be taking our jams and jellies from Walters’ Pumpkin Patch and hopefully will have some apple cider donuts to offer too! I dearly love designing and making new value added products from the crops we grow here at our Kansas pumpkin patch. I’ve been asked to speak at the annual NAFDMA conference regarding value added products next year too! Sometimes it’s a work-in-progress that takes some time and effort to get it just the way you imagined.
Carroll is busy designing his new attractions for this fall. Wish I could tell you what he is adding to the pumpkin patch, but for now it’s still a secret. It sure was fun though when I tried it out a couple of days ago! And he has the black plastic culvert for his second project too! Who would’ve ever thought that agritourism would keep us from retiring! Our Kansas agritourism operation has certainly developed into a twelve month a year project.
So many peaches on the trees and apples on the trees that I didn’t prune this spring! Learning as I go will be costly this year; but experience is a great teacher and I’m certain extreme pruning won’t happen again. (Unless my age gives way to forgetfulness and I don’t remember this 2012 pruning!) And the almond tree is loaded with little green almonds! I have to learn how to harvest them and this is going to be my year. Another value added product.
And another thing for you pumpkin lovers! I have giant pumpkins coming up in the display area outside the pantry building! Maybe we can get some really giant, giant pumpkins growing there for everyone to see!
We’re waiting on the corn maze design from Precision Mazes and I have no doubts that Rob and Rachel will come up with some great ideas working off the little sketch I sent them of what we wanted for our corn maze this year. We need a small maze for our visiting school to use where they won’t get lost in the larger maze, but still lend itself to the overall maze design. We ought to have their design next week…..can hardly wait.
It’s a busy time at this Kansas farm. Until next time, I’m organizing my pumpkin seeds!
Here we go beginning a new season of growin’ at the Walters’ Pumpkin Patch. Our Kansas agritourism facility has become more than we can manage as a Mom & Pop operation. Daughter Amy has already began helping Mom with the new design for our school tours, another employee will start in June after school dismisses, and a new baker is coming on board later this summer! Then we’ll hold a job fair, having several of our employees helping do the interview process to select some really good new employees for our fall pumpkin fest season. I used to be able to just wander through my day. Now I have lists of things to get done, lists for Carroll, lists for other people who are trying to help me, and I have to be dressed and ready to go first thing in the morning! This is starting to sound more like work! hahahaha!
People are always asking what Carroll has on the “drawing board” for planned new attractions for the pumpkin patch. This year he will be getting the combine and slide ready for the climbings of little ones, and he is building a human gerbil wheel! Wait’ll you see this one! Now the kitchen assistants have to come up with a human gerbil treat for the children and adults who get in the wheel! We’re still working on the corn maze design for this year with Precision Maze who designs and cuts our maze each year. We’re moving to the field behind the house (last year’s big pumpkin field) and it’ll be an “L” shape….so the design will be unique.
We have the hot peppers planted…unusual for Kansas at only the end of March! And we have tomatoes ready to go to the garden too. Daughter Amy and I had a field day whackin’ on the apple trees and the Butler County Horticulture Agent, Larry Crouse, thought we might have apples again in another two years! I said we’d really whacked them! BUT lo and behold, several of the trees have already developed some blooms, and I bet we might still have some apples this year! But we did learn a valuable lesson about apple tree whackin’!
Until next time: we’re cleaning gourds, getting ready for the farmers markets in Old Town Wichita beginning the first part of May, and then the El Dorado Farmers Market beginning in June, and we ought to have a new donut machine for our apple cider donut trials very soon! Enjoy this beautiful Kansas weather we’re having!