The pumpkin patch at the Lucien United Methodist Church is a familiar site most residents, but you may not be familiar with the story behind how these pumpkins came to be here.
The pumpkins are farmed on Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico for the Pumpkin Patch, a fundraising organization that helps non-profit organizations raise funds. The organization assumes all risk and pays for the growing, harvesting and shipping of the pumpkins and enables churches such as Lucien to raise money for church events and the Navajo Nation.
Anne Kash, a trustee for the church, estimates their annual pumpkin patch has been going for eight to ten years and said it is the members of the community and the volunteer who help make it successful.
It took a chain gang of volunteers, including church members, boy scouts and members of the Kings Park Student Council to help unload two separate deliveries of pumpkins the church received this year.
The patch is going strong this year and according to Kash, will exceed last year's sales, which were $24,000.
"This year we are already at $19,000, so we are on track to beat last year."
You won't find any scales there to weigh your pumpkin. Prices are determined by size. A good eye and a pair of hands measures the circumference.
They've been told they have the best pumpkins and in years past, residents from other towns have come by when the east end experienced poor conditions and weren't able to produce quality pumpkins.
"The town is so supportive," said Kash. "We couldn't do it without them."
Open everyday in October, 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Sunday.
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