MISSOULA — Pumpkintober is what the husband-wife duo of Turner Farms, Jon and Erin Turner, say around their farm come fall. They started doing pumpkin sales back in 2009 and have loved it ever since.
“It's just a fun time, and it's it's one of our favorite times of the year,” said Erin Turner, owner of Turner Farms.
“Ironically, that the first time we did a big pumpkin sale, it was out of necessity I had hurt my back and I actually physically could not pick up the pumpkins," said Jon Turner.
"We begged and partnered with the school that the boys went to and said if we could get a class down here to help us harvest these pumpkins, we'll do a fundraiser for the school. And it just really took off.”
The farm harvests their own pumpkins, each year planting more, and has a U-pick patch. This year, their pumpkins have taken off.
Due to the record-breaking heat waves we had this summer in Missoula, a lot of crops started to bloom early, the Turners said that their corn was one of the crops that was done by August -- and they are pretty good to go. They started blooming in August as well.
“But this year I mean they're, they're amazing, I mean they, they have," said Jon Turner. "Just like last year too and we had that heatwave. We got a lot of plant growth during that heat.”
As seasons switch, the thing to be worried about now -- frost. “When a frost is a hard frost, will destroy all of our crops,” said Jon Turner.
Turner Farms will have food trucks and live music during picking season, but the Turners want to bring it back to basics by providing a space for family time.
“We love just the simplicity of being on the farm, enjoying the farming animals, the silly goats and, you know, seeing cows and pigs, and being able to just walk through the pumpkin patch and and picking a pumpkin,” said Erin Turner.
Last year they sold over 50,000 pounds of pumpkins and were sold out weeks before Halloween.
The Turners say they will continue to sell pumpkins as long as they have them and ask that visitors respect each other and social distance while picking.
Turner Farms opens their pumpkin patch on Oct. 1`, but for those who want to get a head start, they open for pumpkin sales at their farm stand on Sept. 18.