Pumpkin Picking: Fall spurs agritourism in Bartow
by Marie Nesmith
Oct 14, 2012 | 3267 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pumpkins
A large variety of pumpkins can be found at the Pumpkin Patch Farm, 230 Old Dixie Highway N.W. in Adairsville. Along with pumpkins, the operation also features hayrides, an animal barnyard, pumpkin ring toss, stick horse corral, hay maze and John Deere Pedal Tractors. TONY ROSS STUDIOS/Staff
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Along with brightly colored leaves and cooler temperatures, fall also brings increased traffic to pumpkin patches across north Georgia. Among the host of agritourism businesses operating in the area, Pettit Creek Farms and Pumpkin Patch Farm create memories for the whole family to enjoy.

“This is a very busy time of year for us,” said Scott Allen, owner of Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville. “We start our pumpkin patch in September, run it through till Nov. [3] — that first Saturday in November. ... The pumpkin patch is definitely a draw. People come for the pumpkin patch, it’s just that simple. They come out for a fall outing. ... We’re just celebrating having a good time, the changing of the seasons, picking out pumpkins, doing the hayrides, the corn maze.

“It’s a one-stop shop. you can get it all here. We have a large following. We’ve got a little over 2,500 people on our Facebook page and it’s growing every day. They come from Paulding, Cherokee, Cobb. We pull them all the way from Chattanooga to the other side of Atlanta. ... They come up here just to see the farm.”

Located at 337 Cassville Road, Pettit Creek Farms is open to the public after 2 p.m. during the weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Along with a pumpkin patch, the 80-acre farm features a petting zoo, moonwalks, hayride, corn maze and an on-site potter. According to www.pettitcreekfarms.com, admission is $10 for adults, $12 for children and free for youth younger than 2. Camel rides, pony rides and the Euro-Bungy are available for $5 each.

“We don’t bring in just average pumpkins. We bring in really super nice ones with huge stems on them [and] really fancy odd stuff,” Allen said, referring to more than 10 speciality types of pumpkins, such as a pink breast cancer awareness pumpkin and a white ghost pumpkin. “... People will spend more time picking out a pumpkin than they will a Christmas tree. ... Some of them [also] want the perfect picture with the pumpkin.

“My favorite part of the whole pumpkin patch, I guess, is the hayrides, watching people feed the camels. When they’re on the hayrides and a 2,000-pound camel comes walking up and eats out of your hand — like he’s picking flowers for a date, just gently lifting one out after another — the kids just [start] laughing and screaming and the pictures [are] taken, that’s one of my favorite parts.”

Echoing Allen’s comments, Larry Erwin — who co-owns Pumpkin Patch Farm with his wife, Elaine — said he is in the business of creating a fall experience for visitors.

“We try to make it like a visit to grandpa’s farm,” Erwin said. “The No. 1 issue is, especially in the school field trips, we want to keep those children busy doing something [with] no waiting. We want those children doing something so we have enough stuff to keep them busy.”

Situated at 230 Old Dixie Highway, N.W., in Adairsville, the Pumpkin Patch Farm is open to visitors during the weekends in October from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. While the public still is welcome, the weekday operations — 9 a.m. to noon — are geared especially toward school field trips. Admission, which is $6 plus tax, covers a wide range of activities, such as the animal barnyard, hayride, stick horse corral, pumpkin ring toss, hay maze and John Deere Pedal Tractors.

The farm also features a wide selection of pumpkins, which visitors later can decorate, carve or cook.

“[The pumpkins] are primarily grown here,” said Andrea Erwin, who works in the Pumpkin Patch Farm’s ticket booth. “Toward the end of the month if we run out we do purchase from local growers. We have the mini pumpkins, which fit in the palm of your hand, [and] we have pie pumpkins. We [also] have some of the larger pumpkins, the jack-o’-lantern size, some nearing 40 pounds.”

Like others in agritourism, she finds enjoyment in watching children take in the interactive environment.

“It’s very busy of course,” Andrea Erwin said. “There’s lots of hard work — it’s before daylight to after dark every day — [but] it’s lots and lots of fun.

“There’s lots of families and very young children who come out and they are just delighted. And it delights us. I think it’s very fulfilling that they come to our farm, that all this hard work pays off in their delight and their enjoyment.”

For more information about the Pumpkin Patch Farm, call 770-773-2617 or visit www.pumpkinpatchfarm.net. Further details on Pettit Creek Farms can be obtained by visiting www.pettitcreekfarms.com or calling 770-386-8688.