Pumpkin farmer Natalie Andelin, who owns the farm with her husband Cameron, said they are welcoming the public to their property to participate in farm activities, including feeding the animals and picking pumpkins the family planted in June.
“It’s actually been a running ranch far for more than 25 years,” Andelin said. “It was mostly cattle and hay. We moved here a year ago. It is my in-laws farm, my husband grew up here.”
Andelin and her husband returned to Spanish Springs from Salt Lake City 12 years ago. Last year, Andelin said Cameron’s parents let the couple lease the farm because they moved to Idaho.
“We moved (to the farm) a year ago and decided that it would be kind of neat to have an attraction like a pumpkin patch,” Andelin said. “We grow the pumpkins ourselves and it just grew into a fun idea. We felt like this area needed more attractions like this and thought it would be a neat opportunity.”
In late spring, the Andelin family prepared the patch by tilling and disking the dirt and installing a drip system to water the pumpkins. Once the soil was ready, the seeds could be planted.
“We hand planted about 5,100 seeds,” Andelin said. “It was six hours of work in June. We got some friends and our whole family was out there planting pumpkin seeds on a Saturday.”
The Andelin Family Farm now boasts a 1-acre pumpkin patch with various sizes of the seasonable squash ready to be picked. Andelin said part of the secret to the farms’ first-year success is the beehive near the property.
“(Research) talks about having one beehive within 1 mile of your pumpkin field, and my brother in law does honey out here and has beehives,” Andelin said. “We keep the patch weeded and watered and have the bees to pollinate.”
For Andelin, the farm is a way to get the family involved and teach their five children, between the ages of 2 and 11, life lessons.
“It is a neat experience for our kids to have farm chores and learn to work and enjoy the farm too,” Andelin said. “I grew up such a city girl, but I love it. It’s a lot of work but we enjoy it.”
Andelin also hopes the community enjoys the newest addition to the pumpkin patches available in northern Nevada.
“We hope to build a good family business and our kids can be a part of something that we’re working together on but also making something fun for the community,” Andelin said. “As a mother I love going to events in the community and to things that are set up. How fun is it to have this pumpkin patch in Spanish Springs?
“I think we can do this every year,” she added. “It will be a very neat family business.”
Much like Andelin, Lattin Farms in Fallon has been in the family for generations, said BAnn Lattin who owns the farm with her husband Rick.
“We’re the fourth generation,” Lattin said. “Our kids are the fifth generation. Last year was (the farm’s) 100th anniversary.”
Lattin Farms has added attractions throughout the years, including its famous corn maze and scarecrow workshops.
“A lot of people come and we have the scarecrow factory,” Lattin said. “It’s become an all day event. They come and do the maze in the daylight and do it again in the evening.
“We light our pumpkin tower mid-October,” Lattin countinued, adding the tower will be lit on Oct. 16.
For Lattin, the farm has become more than a place to pick fruits and vegetables, but a place to gather and have fun.
“I think it has been a real asset to Churchill County,” Lattin said. “We draw a lot of people from all over northern Nevada and some from California and a few from all over the world.”
Lattin said the farm has had visitors from England, France and Australia.
“The farm has always been a hobby farm that has taken over our lives,” Lattin said with a laugh. “We have a great time and I encourage people to come and build a scarecrow.”
Lattin also said with summer temperatures lingering into fall, there is still time to pick berries.
“If the raspberries don’t freeze, they are picking fantastic now,” Lattin said. “I had someone tell me (on Thursday) ‘My grandchildren came out here to pick berries.’ This is a place to build memories.”
Closer to the city is Ferrari Farms located on the corner of Rock Boulevard and Mill Street in Reno. Owner Frank Ferrari said the farm also offers residents a chance to pick pumpkins, take hay rides and participate in fall festivities.
“The farm has been in our family since 1912,” Ferrari said. “The pumpkin patch opened to the public 14 years ago.”
Ferrari said the family has grown and sold pumpkins for years but opening a pumpkin patch was a way to get the public involved.
“Every year we get a ton of very positive feed back,” Ferrari said. “We get a lot of repeat customers that really enjoy it. It is good to have something for the family. Have fun, be outside and it is something that is wholesome and enjoyable for everyone.”
This year, Ferrari said there are more than 40 varieties of pumpkins and squash being offered by the farm.
Ferrari Farms also has a maze and it is open on Friday and Saturday nights until 10 p.m. Ferrari said he notices an older crowd coming out at night to find their way through the maze.
To pick pumpkins and get more information about the Andelin Family Farm, visit http://andelinfamilyfarm.blogspot.com. The farm is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is also open for school tours. The farm is located at 8100 Pyramid Way about a half mile north of the Spanish Springs Library. The dirt road is marked from the highway and people traveling north will turn right on to the road.
For more information about Lattin Farms, visit www.lattinfarms.com. For more information about Ferrari Farms, call 856-4962.