By Danielle Brown

Staff Writer

Known as “the nuttiest place around” for their peanut crop, Holland farms opened their pumpkin patch and annual fall festivities on Sept. 22. The 600-acre farm has been in the Holland family for over 100 years providing produce and family fun to the public.

The farm welcomes several thousand people per year who enjoy all the farm has to offer. Kids get to experience a working farm and see how crops are grown.

“Most rewarding is the kids having a good time and experiencing a working farm,” said B.J. Holland, manager of Holland Farms and son of owners Diane and Bruce Holland. “They’re seeing that the pumpkin doesn’t come out of a box in Walmart.”

The corn maze has three different paths that increase in difficulty. The small maze for kids takes about 10 to 15 minutes. The medium maze takes 20 to 30 minutes and the large maze is escaped in about 45 minutes.

The petting zoo has goats, miniature donkeys, and a 1-ton steer named Norman. With the purchase of a $12 wristband, visitors get to take home a pumpkin, go on a hayride and participate in other farm activities.

“The main attraction is the pumpkins,” Holland said. “As far as activity, probably the kids’ zipline then the corn box which is a big box, like a sandbox, but instead we put shelled corn in it.”

Visitors are also drawn to the sunflowers that the farm grows every year on roughly 12-acres. Due to the rain this year, the farm is behind on the crop but the flowers should be available in full bloom later in the season.

Pace mother Jenny Mahoney and her family have been coming to the farm every year for three years. They mostly come for the 10-acre pumpkin patch and the hayride through it, but her 4-year-old daughter has grown to love the kids’ play area.

“The first year we came when she was really little,” Mahoney said. “Now that she is older, she wanted to do the zip line and a couple of those other things that she didn’t want to do a couple of years ago.”

The farm is in its ninth year of fall activities and plans are still in the works for the 10-year anniversary celebration.

Activities include a rope spider web, sand box, swings, pedal tractor cart racing, slides, train rides, rat racers, knocker balls, and horse rides. The pumpkin patch will be open every day from Sept. 22 to Nov. 3.

The farm will reopen from Nov. 21 to Dec. 10 for its fifth year of Christmas festivities including the playground area, meeting Santa, hayrides and fraser fir Christmas trees for sale.

Jenny and Bennett with pumpkin Kids zipline miniature donkey at petting zoo Pumpkin Patch
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Holland Farms has 10-acre pumpkin patch next to the corn maze [Photo by Danielle Brown].