Fall is a busy time at Harvestville Farm near Donnellson, not just because they’re harvesting row crops, but because they’re entertaining hundreds of guests at the 40-acre pumpkin patch that features 150 varieties of pumpkins.
Five generations have worked on this farm. It had always been a traditional Iowa farm with row crops and livestock until the family decided 11 years ago to diversify.
They added the pumpkin patch and an assortment of family activities, plus the Pitchfork Café and gift shop. They’ve since expanded to offer fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer, and Wisconsin-grown Christmas trees, greenery, wreaths and bows in the winter.
“It is a lot of hard work, but we have a passion for it. We love our customers; they’re just wonderful and our staff is phenomenal, too,” said Julie Hohl, a fourth-generation farmer along with her husband and kids. “We are one huge farm family, and we always look forward to this time of year.”
There are two play areas on the farm; one is geared toward younger kids, and the other for older kids. The jumping pillow is a hit with everyone, as is the giant corn playhouse and trike track with larger sized trikes that even adults can pedal.
Visitors can walk out or go on a tractor wagon ride to the pumpkin patch that also has gourds and squash. There is a treasure trove of pumpkins in all sizes, with most gravitating toward the larger size.
“We don’t grow the giant ones like at the Iowa State Fair, but we’re known for growing larger, unique, beautiful pumpkins,” Hohl said. “Some weigh as much as 70 or 80 pounds. People love big pumpkins.”
Fortunately, the dry spell in June followed by much needed rains actually boosted this year’s pumpkin crop, Hohl said.
“Pumpkins like to be on the dry side, so our crop looks beautiful,” she said."
Harvestville Farm is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.