Here at the farm, we’ve been anticipating spring, like a lot of you! Maybe more than usual with the amount of storms we’ve experienced this winter. Our front barnyard that once had snow reaching the top of the fenceposts, finally has tulips popping up everywhere drinking in the sun.
Our lives here on the farm are very much connected to the seasons—it dictates where we work, and how we work, and of course, the work we do. In the winter, while the ground is resting, we did work that can only get done while we are relegated (mostly) to indoor spaces. The upper level of our barn was covered with isolation plot fruits, which we’ve saved the seed from. Our calendars have meetings scheduled for 3 out of 5 days of the week to plan for the upcoming fall season, and wrap up the year before. And this year, our crew added windows to the second level of the barn—adding some light to the office space up there, as well as where we save seed and paint signs.
This year, we’ve also spent some time doing something we love best—dreaming! This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Great Pumpkin Patch, and we’ve been thinking and planning and dreaming of how to celebrate! One of the things we’re excited to announce is the launch of our updated website. We have loved our website, and it has served us well, but in the years since we first developed it, websites have changed! We wanted something that would keep our visitors updated from the moment they clicked on the homepage. Plus, we are a family farm—and our story isn’t just about pumpkins, but about the entire journey. Our website tells the whole story of The 200 Acres, which includes The Great Pumpkin Patch, The Homestead Bakery, and The Homestead Seeds, but also the farm that has been in our family since 1859.
When Jill and Chad from McKenzie Wagner hit us with that first image that would be on our homepage, I was just so moved—and felt that lump in my throat! This is us. What we do and how we live. (That my son is prominently placed didn’t hurt either!)
As a transplant to Arthur from Milwaukee, my connection to the seasons was waiting for 50° to hit so I could wear shorts and take my truck out of 4-wheel drive, finally! I didn’t know what a combine was, or the difference between hay and straw. I had never had corn or tomatoes that didn’t come from the grocery store. I didn’t even know which direction was north. This life was very new…and amazing.
What I already had was a passion for history and family. I can hardly talk about our family farm without getting choked up. 6 generations, over 150 years, of our family working this land. It takes your breath away. The fact that we are able to share it makes it even more amazing.
So spring for us is about renewal, shaking off our winter coats, and opening the windows wide! Mac’s crew will be heading outside to work in the gardens, Bruce will prepare the tractor to work the ground, we’ll open the buildings to make repairs, we’ll begin traveling to farmer’s markets, and, of course, the pumpkin seedlings will start sprouting.