Cumming First United Methodist Church Great Pumpkin Patch
• Where: 770 Canton Hwy.
• Hours: 1 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday; storytime is 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Thursday
• Contact: (770) 887-2900, www.cfumcga.com
The Kinsey Family Farm
• Where: 7170 Jot Em Down Road
• Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
• Contact: (770) 887-6028, www.kinseyfamilyfarm.com
• Where: 5555 Crow Road
• Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday
• Contact: (770) 380-2920, www.warbingtonfarms.blogspot.com
There’s no shortage of pumpkin patches providing the gourds and a whole lot more to Forsyth County families.
From hay rides and petting farms to roasted marshmallows and storytimes, pumpkin patches provide a wide range of activities for children of all ages.
On Saturday, Warbington Farms in north Forsyth kicked off its fall season with Pumpkin Palooza, a family-friendly festival.
Participants took part in a range of activities from pony rides to shopping for homemade breads and jams.
Owner Paul Warbington said this is the second year the farm on Crow Road has sold pumpkins. It’s known in the spring for pick-your-own strawberries.
“Pumpkins aren’t more popular than strawberries by no means,” he said. “But with that being said, during the fall, the festivities — the hay rides, the pony rides and hot chocolate and all that — are more popular. But you’ve got to have the pumpkins to have all that.”
Warbington said the farm sold about 1,500 pumpkins in its first year offering them. This year, he has shipped in about 5,000 from Kentucky and North Carolina.
“With pumpkins you’ve got to have enough to have plenty in a pumpkin patch,” Warbington said. “You’ve got to have a lot of pumpkins to have all that.”
Kinsey Family Farm
Plenty of pumpkins and other gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors are also available at the Kinsey Family Farm, also in north Forsyth on Jot Em Down Road.
Owner Andy Kinsey said the farm has about 250,000 pounds of pumpkins shipped in from other states each year.
He explained that most Georgia farms don’t grow them because they’re a “cool weather crop.”
“To get them in October, you have to plant them around July, and obviously it’s not cool in Georgia in July,” he said.
This year marks the Kinsey Farm’s eighth selling season, although the family has owned the farm since 1981.
Andy Kinsey said it continues to gain new customers each season, which includes selling Christmas trees later in the year.
“A lot of people come through,” he said. “I’d say thousands and thousands each year. It’s to the point where our parking lot fills up and now we’ve got an overflow parking lot, which we’re going to expand further.”
The farm also sells a range of other Georgia-grown products, including honey and homemade jams and jellies.
“We try to support the local farms,” Kinsey said. “We’ll buy gourds and some homemade things from them.”
Cumming First United Methodist Church
Those traveling along Canton Highway, just west of Cumming, may have noticed a huge display of the seasonal orbs outside Cumming First United Methodist Church.
Kristy Thompson, director of the church’s children’s ministry, said the Great Pumpkin Patch is “terrific” for children and families.
“We normally have around 1,000 children who visit the patch and hear a story from our resident crow, Corny the Crow,” she said.
Thompson said about 2,000 pumpkins are brought in each year for the event, as well as “gourds that resemble pumpkins.”
“They’re lumpy and bumpy and some are green and some are white, so they’re really terrific,” she said, noting that the diversity is a perfect fit for the patch’s storytime, which is held 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Thursday.
“We are able to talk to the children every season about friendship and kindness,” she said. “This year’s story is based on a spider and a bat, Benjamin Bat, and he planted all the seeds for the farmers … and he chose to plant pumpkin seeds that grew pumpkins of all different colors and shapes and sizes.
“And we talk to the children about how God made all of us different and beautiful, just as these pumpkins are different and beautiful.”
For the pumpkin patch organizers throughout the county, the seasonal festivities are all about family fun.
“It’s a busy place, but we’re trying to still maintain that kind of soft, family — not packed, crazy — feel,” Kinsey said. “The flow is still very comfortable … last weekend we had so many nice compliments from families.”
Thompson said the church will focus on families during an event called Night in the Patch beginning at 5 p.m. Oct. 27.
She said the event, which is free and open to everyone, will include a hot dog supper with dessert, live music, arts and crafts, and an outdoor presentation of “Monsters Inc.” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
“It’s always a lot of fun and it’s totally free,” she said.