NAMPA, Idaho — As a young boy, Fred Schreffler dreamed of owning a farm. Then in 1992 he founded The Berry Ranch.
Around 30 years later his two sons and wife help him run the business. The family owned farm stays busy throughout all the different seasons, especially during pumpkin season.
“People want to connect with where it’s growing, they want to pick the pumpkin off the vine,” Schreffler said. “They want to see that and feel that connection, and you just can’t feel it unless you’re where it grows.”
For many, visiting a pumpkin patch is an essential fall activity, but it takes time to get setup. Even before planting the pumpkin seeds, The Berry Ranch takes advanced preparation.
“You have to have transportation in order, have some willing hands, something to put them into, some way to move them out, some place to go,” Schreffler said. “There’s just a lot of pieces to put together way in advance.”
This season, The Berry Ranch faced some challenges due to the weather.
Schreffler said the extreme heat this summer affected the bloom, set, growth and maturity of the pumpkins, while the rain prevented people from picking pumpkins because of the mud.
“We’ve had this kind of stuff before, but it comes in long term cycles and you learn to deal with everything,” Schreffler said.
The season ends on Oct. 31.