Last year I had the pleasure of helping out at Ramseyer Farms in Wooser during school field trips. http://www.ramseyerfarms.com/ They have large cornfield mazes, a petting zoo and learning centers and farm tours for school kids to learn about farming and Ohio history in their Ohio corn maze. There is a Mystery Maze and an amazing playground. The kids got a farm tour and had lessons in math, ecomonics, geography, science and history all tied up in a very fun field trip. I sometimes had the pleasure of taking kids out to the pumpkin fields on the hay wagons to get a pumpkin from the field and dig up a potato. In addition to growing what seems like million of pumpkins the farm also is a working potato farm.
If you’ve never really looked at a pumpkin field or a cartful of colorful guords you are missing out on how really beautiful they are! The colors and variety of shapes are endless. I enjoyed watching the kids pick out just the right pumpkin in the field and saw their excitement as they brought it in from the field.
The other remarkable thing about pumpkin fields, other than how amazing it is to take a hayride full of kids to one, is to watch how they change after the frost. Before the frost for the most part the leaves are still fairly big and although you see some pumpkins the real surprise is when the leaves go away and you see what they’ve been hiding! The pumpkin fields would look like an orange haze in the misty mornings and the color and quantity of pumpkins is amazing! Some of the pumpkins are sold wholesale to places all around the country so I also got to see the guys harvest pumpkins. There are no machines to do this so what they do is form a chain out in the field and toss pumpkins down the line until the last guy tosses it in the tractor. Row after row they do this and of course the pumpkins are in demand for a relatively short period of time so you can imagine how critical it is to distribute the pumpkins quickly. Whew. I can still feel the frenzy of activity!
The donkey featured in one of my paintings in the outdoor Barnyard Murals at Lehman’s is from the Ramseyer’s petting zoo. The murals can be seen in the outdoor patio area at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at http://countrylife.lehmans.com/murals/ or at http://www.amish-art.com/