With mixed emotions I’m retiring from Farmer Ganyard at Upchurch Farm. Words cannot express what a great experience it has been to take on the challenge of growing pumpkins for the past 23 years in the hot southern climate, which is not suited for pumpkin production, and then in the Fall seeing the fun and happiness on the faces of thousands of visitors every year – young and old alike.
I’m going to miss those times when I would get on the school bus to welcome yet another load of excited kids and teachers to the farm. I’m going to miss those times when I would hear hundreds of kids’ voices yelling and laughing while they played in the corn crib and on hay-mountain. And I’ll never forget the sight of a hay wagon full of excited, chattering guests departing for the ride through the woods to the corn maze and pumpkin patch. I’ll also miss school kids running around the field trip pumpkin patch trying to find their perfect pumpkin, or parents roaming the main pumpkin patch with their kids trying to decide which pumpkins to pick – some of my patented weird and exotic and some perfect for jack-o-lanterns.
Many of you have come up to me in the past few years to say . . “I picked my first pumpkin at your farm when I was a kid and I just brought my own kid(s) to enjoy the same experience.” One of the most gratifying experiences of my life has been to see the joy and happiness on kids’ and teachers’ faces when I’ve been able to donate and deliver loads of pumpkins to schools who couldn’t afford a field trip to the farm. When Fall comes around this year and every year, I’m going to have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes that I will not be out there welcoming another season of smiling, happy visitors. I want to personally thank each and every customer and each and every hard-working, devoted employee who has helped make this venture such a success. It’s been a great ride!!
Farmer (Milton) Ganyard