Walters Pumpkin Patch

logoIt’s only 10 days until we open for the fall!    What a summer it has been getting ready for our autumn season at our Kansas agritourism facility!

The pumpkins look fantastic this year with our frequent rains, the new attractions abound, the gift shop is filled with great merchandise…..and we’re just waiting for our visitors!   The new trackless train is to arrive today and our new Woodlands is ready for our little friends.   Carroll has been building all summer and everything is almost completed.

Our special events begin this Sunday evening, September 13th,  with a concert and BBQ dinner enjoying the music of Leon native, Rusty Rierson.   Rusty has just returned from a recording session in Nashville, Tennessee!   So come out and enjoy a Butler Countian!   And this event is for adults only.   We’re going to play in the patch on the jumping pillows, the underground slides and check out the swinging bridge….without any children giggling and/or pointing at our antics!  It’s going to be a great evening of fun and frolic beginning at 3pm.   But we need you to call, email us, or post on our facebook page (walters pumpkin patch)  if you plan to attend so we can fix  enough vitals for the evening!   316-320-4150 and leave us a message of how many reservations you need and your name!   We’ll be waiting to see you Sunday!   (And a portion of our proceeds will go back to feed the hungry in Butler County through Numana).

Check out our website www.thewaltersfarm.com for new events this fall!   Hope to see you soon!

We’re Countin’ Down to PumpkinFest 2015!

2010 spring and summer 149         I just get so excited when I see these beautiful orange pumpkins peeking out through those big green leaves in our Kansas pumpkin patch!   And I get even more excited dreaming up new events to entertain

our guests in the fall!

October 10th will bring the El Dorado High School Drama students under the direction of Katie Banks Todd to the Patch to entertain all our visitors with the play, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”!

What a fabulous attraction this will be for our guests along with all the other things to do and see!   Mark your calendars for Oct 10th and 11th.

 

We have named our new play area “The Woodlands”.   This is a new area on into the wooded area past the pedal car track and the Pumpkinland Game.   This will be the area for the new wooden structures

for climbing, jumping and dreamin’.   There will be a monster truck, pirate ship, school bus, farm tractor and wagon, and farm truck with slides and walking the plank, and the new trackless train will drive

through this area too!    And Carroll and Curt Johnson have just finished up the new swings along the creek bank with a huge tractor tire swing and a couple regular swings.   As you can see….we’ve been busy

this spring and summer.

We’re gearin’ up and countin’ down to PumpkinFest and hope you all have September 19th marked on your calendars for our opening weekend.   Half price admission comes in as a nice deal after you’ve gotten school clothes purchased and enrollment fees paid!   Until our season begins at the Walters Pumpkin Patch, stay cool and know we’re down in the patch!

 

The Princess and her Prince Farming: How Walters Pumpkin Patch became a destination for thousands each autumn

 

Carroll and Becky Walters live on the farm that includes the pumpkin patch.

Carroll and Becky Walters live on the farm that includes the pumpkin patch.

        Once up a time in the land of Kansas, there lived a young princess with her Prince Farming. 

         For many years, the princess tried to adapt to the rural way of life to no avail. The princess had been raised in the neighboring village, where folks went to work from 9 to 5 and then came home to their families. 

         The rural life was more difficult. She would work to saddle a horse so she could work cattle with the rest of the cowboys, but no sooner would she mount the horse than the saddle would come crashing to the ground with the princess right behind. And it didn’t take much intelligence to realize that anything with four legs that outweighs you by hundreds of pounds, has the potential to do you physical harm. 

         After the cattle were brought in, the princess would work her way in to the hired hands so that she, too, could help. Once she backed her way into a branding iron hanging on a fence, and all the cowboys laughed at her.  

         Even when she tried to work the ground driving a big green tractor, she would either take out long-established fence lines, or the hydraulics would come loose, or something else would go wrong. 

         The princess was no good at being a Prince Farming’s wife, ie hired hand. But then one day, she came upon a new plan: She would grow little pumpkinettes like the florists in the neighboring villages were using in the autumn.  

         She tilled and planted, fertilized and watered all her baby pumpkin plants throughout the spring and summer. When the harvest came, the princess picked buckets and buckets of miniature pumpkins and sold them one by one.  

         Then when the princess and the prince counted their gold coins, they realized the princess had made twice as much money as Prince Farming would have made on his milo for that same area.  

         At that time, the Prince should have locked the princess in the dungeon, and he could’ve lived happily ever after. And that would’ve been the end. But he didn’t, and this was just the beginning of a successful agritourism business.

This is pretty much how the Walters’ life started — a true story with minor embellishments!  We made $583 on that first year of selling pumpkins one by one, and they were the miniature pumpkins, which was twice as much as he would have made planting the same area with milo!

From then on, we kept adding more varieties, and then squashes and gourds. We had that “put together” family — two of his and two of mine — but the pumpkin patch was our fifth child we shared together.

We had many people inspire our the pumpkin patch’s growth. Carroll’s mom, Mazella, who lived here on the farm until her passing at the age of 95, was our greatest cheerleader. She watched as the pumpkin patch developed and encouraged us to “make a living” on this farm with our specialty crop.

Mazella was a great fly swatter and would open up the plastic bags that tended to stick together and stuff them into an old nail keg wooden bucket. The first pumpkin season after she passed from this life, we all would cry every time we had to open a plastic bag.   She was sorely missed.

One of my mentors was Norman Sundgren, who I loved talking “pumpkins” with. He was a grower of pumpkins, too! Another was Leland Seivley, who got me those first miniature pumpkin seeds so many years ago.

As I walked the field planting 10 acres of pumpkin seeds by hand in my younger days, I would cuss Leland for my back aches and thank him for getting me those first pumpkin seeds that started the Walters Pumpkin Patch.

Since 1988, school children have been visiting the pumpkin patch. Today, Walters Pumpkin Patch sees about 30,000 visitors annually during its seven-week season.

— Becky Walters