If you are still wanting to find that perfect pumpkin before Halloween, there are plenty of pick-your-own pumpkin farms within the Siouxland area, and you still have another weekend to visit a local pumpkin farm.
The Hoeflings Pumpkin Patch is one of those area pumpkin farms, and it is located in Cherokee County at the intersection of county roads C-38 and L-36, just a few miles south of Marcus. For the past 20 years, Geralyn and Al Hoefling have been growing and selling pumpkins. Geralyn, a retired pre-school teacher, says she started the pick-your-own pumpkin patch so young children would better understand how food is grown, and where food originates.
"I wanted a place for kids to come and pick their own pumpkin, so they can learn how pumpkins grow, rather than just going to a store and buying a pumpkin. I wanted them to go to the patch and see how they grow, and how they grow on the vine, and be able to pick their own. And for families to start a tradition with their kids to do this every year, which we have seen a lot of," says Geralyn Hoefling.
The Hoeflings raise hundreds, if not thousands, of pumpkins on their three and a half-acre plot. Geralyn says they offer a wide variety of pumpkins and other autumn-themed harvest crops.
"I do know that we have over 25 varieties of pumpkins and over 60 different varieties of gourds, along with we grow wheat...and broom corn...and then we also put corn stalks together. People want that, and straw bales like that. All of the things that you would use for your Halloween decorations," says Geralyn Hoefling.
Hoefling says she wants to provide memories for families, and that is the reason she and her husband provide a pick-your-own pumpkin patch farm. She says Halloween and the autumn colors attracts people to the countryside.
"It's a change of seasons, so everybody likes the cooler season, but also the colors during the fall season. It brings out a lot of bright colors, and I think people like to decorate, and not only that, and with mother nature
supplying a lot of the color in itself too. Its fun to decorate around that. I think it is just the fun of the trick and treating that the kids enjoy, and adults too. I think they enjoy that a little bit, too," says Hoefling.
In addition to the pumpkins, the Hoeflings feature several games for children to play, hay rides, and even a corn maze as part of their pumpkin operation. They have a retail store where they market decorations, and
sell plenty of traditional baked goods, snacks, and candies that are traditional with the autumn season.
"We started years ago. I did cut-out cookies, so I made the ghosts and the pumpkin cut-out cookies. And then we expanded into popcorn balls, because those are my husband's favorites. And then I added pumpkin bread and banana bread, and scotch-a-roos, and spiced cupcakes, and pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, and buttermilk brownies, and homemade suckers, and...kettle corn. Popcorn balls, oh, I did say popcorn balls. But probably about 13 different things. The more time I have, the more I bake. So, we'll have at least 13 different things, but sometimes a little more," says Hoefling.
Other pumpkin patch farms within northwest Iowa include Pumpkinland located north of Orange City, Scarecrow Farms located between Sioux City and Lawton, Harvest Hallow which is southeast of Le Mars, and Diane's Pumpkin Patch near Ireton.
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