You know inflation affects the price of everything in America today when it goes all the way down the economic ladder to impact the Worshrag pumpkin.
“I think we have to increase the price of pumpkins this year”, I told Honey about it, and she agreed.
Miss T and Seed too, the parents of Bob and The Favorite, the two grandsons who currently own the seasonal pumpkin business we started 24 years ago for our youngest son, Worshrag, when he was 8 years old.
That summer, I had planted pumpkins in my garden for the first time.
“If you sit at the barn and sell pumpkins, I’ll put a sign at the end of the road and you can have all the money.” “ I said Worshrag.
So after school he would sit outside the barn with my mom, Ol ‘Food, and sell pumpkins, and people would buy them because he was a little kid selling them. He won $ 60. Worsh had dollar signs in his eyes, and I learned that people spend more on Fall and Halloween than on any holiday season except Christmas. The following year I planted more pumpkins, as well as Indian corn, corn stalks, squash and squash, which we all sold on the weekend of October in our 1849 barn on Gas Valley. Road.
We offered straw when we could get it from a nearby farmer, and added colorful corn stalks as a signature item that no one else was selling. I started taking customers on free tractor rides through the farm fields, pulling a small trailer behind the 1948 Farmall C tractor that my grandfather Fred bought new.
I told people our motto was, “I do all the work and Worshrag gets all the money”, which was not quite true. He received the money, but he also did a lot of work, as do the grandsons who are the current owners. Working there until high school, most years the pumpkin patch made a few thousand dollars or more. Worsh bought his first car, a rebuilt Alero, with pumpkin money. He paid income taxes and Honey started him with a Roth IRA. The people who organized a pumpkin festival in West Virginia were so impressed with its story that they offered it their annual $ 2,000 college scholarship.
Beyond money, beyond learning about work ethics and public relations, Pumpkin Patch became the Worshrag mythological story of a state champion wrestler, an elite level weightlifter and strength trainer.
How did he get so strong, people would ask. He would tell them, “Lifting pumpkins”.
HONEY AND I kept the pumpkin patch for a few years after Worsh left for college. We eventually gave it up a year, but revived it when grandsons Rufus and Bob, Seed’s two older boys, got thirsty for money and were old enough to do the job. Rufus, who has now started his classes in college, reportedly ceded his stake to their younger brother, The Favorite, 9, but Rufus is still getting into the job, as he did on Saturday morning when we picked the gourd field. It was also the day we weighed and evaluated the hundreds of pumpkins we had put in the barn a few weeks ago.
Our system consists of fixing the price of pumpkins, whatever they are, by the pound, and putting them in piles marked with one dollar, two dollars, and so on up to the largest, which in this case is from $ 16 to 45 pounds, one of the biggest I’ve ever grown.
For 24 years we have been selling pumpkins at 30 cents a pound, so it seems reasonable to increase them now to 35 cents. Yes, you can get cheaper ones at Walmart, but it’s not the same as going to a pumpkin patch. Parents who came to us when they were children are now bringing their children.
I’ve heard that some of the big pumpkin plots charge over 50 cents a pound and charge a high fee for tractor rides as well. If I had to make a living from it, I probably would, so I don’t blame them. Farm businesses need everyone’s support. This is where we get our food.
WHILE COLLECTING BOTTLES with Bob and The Favorite, 9, we discussed whether to increase the price of the gourds as well. For years we have sold small ornamental gourds at three for the dollar.
The favorite thought it was a good idea. “We could sell four for a dollar”, he said.
Bob and I decided to keep them at three for the dollar, in part because we have a surplus of small gourds. We also decided it would take a long time to let The Favorite make decisions about the money.
When Bob, who just turned 14, no longer owns a pumpkin, Shark’s two boys, Lamppost Head, who just turned 10, and The 747, 8, eagerly wait backstage to join the ‘family business.
As long as I can, I will do all the work and they will get all the money, as our company motto says.
Cody’s Pumpkin Patch opens this weekend. Visit the Facebook page.