When Dad called me last month and said his wife had been in a bad accident and they needed my help at the Patch, I couldn't say no. I probably should have at least asked WHAT they needed me to do, but I didn't because you help out neighbors and friends every chance you get. It's what you do.
Thursday night I went over to the farm where I met up with 20 giggling teenagers from the local high school, all with work permits in hand. Everyone got their job assignments and the brightest orange T-shirts you've ever seen. That's so you can look across and see exactly WHO is supposed to be working.
Here's the old barn, totally reconstructed of the original wood. This used to be a dairy farm. Now it's the sight of many a wedding, birthday party and photo shoot, those things happening year round. There is presently corn planted where this picture was taken. To the right is a huge walk-through corn maze, followed by a drive through maze just for the hay ride.
Of course there are pumpkins everywhere, all of which are grown on the property. Not just regular pumpkins, they have a huge variety of decorative ones.
They have this bounce pillow, the biggest in the U.S. they say, that the kids go crazy over. There's a petting zoo and kids face painting, along with a tall stack of hay just for climbing.
This is the gold mine, complete with an original old water tower that of course, holds the water for mining. For $5 you can buy a bag of pay dirt and borrow a screen to mine for gems, gold and Indian arrow heads. It's kind of hokey, but the kids scream with delight.
What the kids REALLY scream over is the Time Travel Tractor. It goes back in time to the land of the dinosaurs. I've got to tell you these are some of the most realistic dinosaurs I've ever seen and SO MUCH FUN!!
It's crazy ... I think there's maybe 30 hanging out here. Some even have nests with eggs and babies.
T-Rex is of course the star of the show!!
But wait .... there's SO much more to see. The best one ever is called Billikens' Blaster. Four big air cannons that shoot tennis balls at an old west scene. Boy am I going to have fun with THAT one!! There's also Dino Dig where kids can dig for dinosaur bones, all of which are reburied every night.
The Pumpkin Patch has made arrangements with all the schools in this area to bring their kids in free. That's where I come in. It's not just a free day at the patch ... they actually have classes to attend on where food comes from and how it is grown. Just ask you're neighborhood kid where rice comes from and you'll understand.
Even though this is a farming community, you'd be surprised how many kids don't actually know how food is grown. This year they are even going to get to experience growing something themselves. That's where I come in. I get to explain about soil, nutrients, sun and seeds as we all plant something (I'm not sure what yet) in a styrofoam cup they can take home with them. I foresee lots of dirt on the floor of the bus. Hopefully SOMETHING will sprout if they water it.
I know ... it's going to test my patience to the max ... but I couldn't turn them down. So be ready for some crazy Patch stories. I start Monday morning at 7:30 ... a little on the early side for me to actually have my brain in gear. Hopefully that bright orange shirt will wake me up!!