Santa Paula Rotary puts plans in place for another pulsating Pumpkin Patch month

April 29, 2011
Santa Paula News

It’s only April, but thoughts of little pumpkins and autumn holiday fare are dancing in the head of Santa Paula Rotary’s Pumpkin Patch Committee.

“We have five great weekends lined up for the festivities (October 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30) says Chris Wilson”, Patch Head Pumpkin. Last year, like most previous years, households came from all over Southern California to attend the patch. “We have many people tell us that it’s a tradition and that it just isn’t autumn without the Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch”.

“We love working with Rotary on this great project” says Jose Fernandez De Soto, Director of the University of California Hansen Agricultural Center. “Last year over 20,000 people came and learned about the Agricultural Center’s Mission and had an opportunity to visit Santa Paula. It’s great for all of us”.

Flying pumpkins from a recreated French Trebuchet, A giant broom-corn alien crop circle, towering hay pyramids, old fashioned  hay wagon rides and 27 acres of pumpkins, food, crafts, master gardeners, animals and a harvest of fun.    This is not your typical autumn pumpkin patch and its why thousands of people from Southern California make the pilgrimage to the Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch each year.

“We’re a convenient drive from some of the most populous communities in Southern California, and we have the luxury of living in this beautiful agricultural area” says Ginger Gherardi, Santa Paula, California Rotarian and one of the festivities organizers.  “This makes a perfect day’s outing for the family. They can spend the whole day at the patch if they want to. There’s so much to do”.

The Faulkner Farm home was built in 1894 by George Washington Faulkner and his wife Rhoda. The home is an excellent example of Queen Anne style architecture with its large irregular size, three story octagonal tower, wrap around porch, stained glass windows and profusion of decorative wood and pressed tin details. The big red barn behind the home was built in 1886 and measures 50 x 55 feet. During the pumpkin patch, the barn is filled with local art and holiday crafts available for purchase. A small outdoor area features a petting zoo and UC Master Gardeners dispense their expertise and sell plants to visitors in an attractive area between the large and small red barns.

The trebuchet,or “pumpkin chucker” is a pumpkin patch highlight. “Kids young, and young at heart, take great delight in pulling the chord and watching the catapault fling pumpkins hundreds of feet to try to hit our recreated castle in the far off distance”, says Chris Wilson,

Delicious treats ensure that little visiting pumpkins don’t go away hungry. Mouth-watering tri-tip, country chicken sandwiches, kettle corn fish tacos, burritos, beef jerky, whole pumpkin and apple pies and slices, festive cookies and baked goods, ice cream, shaved ice, funnel cakes soft drinks and fresh brewed coffee can be enjoyed while sitting on hay bales under shady trees listening to live music. All proceeds raised  from the non-profit  Faulkner Farm Pumpkin patch support community organizations. Admission cost for the pumpkin patch is $4.00.

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