Top four pumpkin patches to venture to this season

Pumpkins+on+a+farm+in+the+fall+during+harvest+time.+

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Pumpkins on a farm in the fall during harvest time.

Kennedy Jones, Columnist

It’s now the beginning of fall, which means puffy vests over sweaters and pumpkin spice everything. It’s the perfect time of year for a visit to a pumpkin patch. Between the fun activities for you and friends, or you and your family, it is a chance to make fun memories while the weather is still nice and the leaves are changing. 

Here are the top four pumpkin patches near DeKalb.

Jonamac Orchard

Jonamac Orchard, 19412 Shabbona Road, Malta, is known for their apple cider donuts and apple picking.

“12-15 acres, we have thousands of pumpkins out there. People can walk all the way out there, grab their pumpkins, put them in the wheelbarrow, bring them all back and pay for them,” Jenna Spychal, a business partner of the Orchard, said.

In addition to the pumpkin patch, during the month of October the Orchard is hosting a Haunted Corn Maze on every Friday and Saturday, Spychal said. Admissions are $15 per person, and it’s recommended for ages 13 and up, according to the website. 

Jonamac Orchard is taking the safety precautions for COVD-19 very seriously. It is limiting the capacity on the farm as a whole by 25%, meaning only a certain amount of people will be let in at once. The Orchard allows for guests to buy tickets online and allows a small number of people to buy tickets at the door. 

“We require all of our staff to wear a mask at all times, and we require guests to wear them inside our building and select attractions,” said Spychal.

There are more details about the pumpkin patch on the Orchard website

 

Yaeger’s Farm Market

The Yaeger’s Farm Market, 1463 State Route 38, has its own pumpkin patch, spanning about 5 acres. The Yaeger’s Farm Market refer to it as the Hidden Pumpkin Patch because, it is surrounded by corn, and as you drive out for a wagon ride you drive through the corn and eventually come out to the Hidden Pumpkin Patch, explained Mary Yaeger, part owner of Yaeger’s Farm Market. 

Yaeger said that precautions were put in place for COVID-19. 

“We have signs up. We require masks. We have hand sanitizer everywhere,” Yaeger said. 

Yaeger also said the staff is using cleaning solutions to wipe down the countertops and card readers. During the hayrides, there are partitions to keep guests socially distant, and only family members will be able to sit next to each other. 

Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm

Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm, 4s041, Merrill Road, Sugar Grove, is about a 30 minute drive away from DeKalb. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but open noon to 6 p. m. Wednesday through Friday. It is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm isn’t a typical pumpkin patch.“[The pumpkin farm is a] mom and pop style patch. We don’t have an actual pick your own. Everything is picked and brought back to the property. There are already specific prices on everything,” part owner Mikaya Higgins said. 

The owners have also taken precautions for COVID-19.

 “I have my entire pay stand that we built. It is wrapped in tarps. We have a plexiglass covering,” Higgins said.

Masks are required for employees and the guest. They have also eliminated activities for the season. It’s difficult for staff to keep up with the recommended sanitation because of how busy the orchard has been, Higgins said.

 

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard 

Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard is located at 42W813 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove. It’s a 35 minute drive from DeKalb. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

Some of the attractions offered are a pumpkin eating dinosaur, a carousel and a tire mound for the kids to play on, according to Goebbert’s Facebook page. The pumpkin patch and orchard also have a straw maze and haunted house attractions. On Goebbert’s website they list about 20 different activities for young children and families

Masks are required to enter the farm and must be worn at all indoor attractions, according to the Goebbert’s website. They have created a sanitizing schedule for themselves, so they take the time to clean a few attractions, which may be closed for a while throughout the day while they get cleaned. They ask those showing symptoms of COVID-19 not to enter the farm.