Katie’s Pumpkin Patch: A Farm Ran by Family, for All Families Katie's Pumpkin Patch: Ran by Family, for All Families

In the Fall season, finding a pumpkin isn’t that rare – but where you find it, just might be.
Katie’s Pumpkin Patch in Baldwinsville, New York, is a third generation farm that functions off of one thing: family.

“Twenty-three years ago, we had done some wholesale pumpkins, and we had a whole lot left, and my wife goes, ‘what are you gonna do with them?’ and I said ‘I’m gonna just disk ‘em up…’ and she goes, ‘No, no, let me sell them.’ So her and my daughter Katie came out here and sold them for a dollar a piece, and got rid of every last pumpkin that was in the field…My wife says, ‘maybe we ‘ought to do that next year.’”

Katie’s pumpkin patch has been open for 21 years now – and while a lot has changed in the world since then, the family tradition remains the same.

Not only does Hafner run the farm with his family – he also tries to make his visitors feel like family as well. To some, he’s the reason they come back.

“…the man up there…we always enjoy talking to him.”

“…You see ‘em once a year and it’s like…time hasn’t put much separation between a year ago.”

But whether it’s your twelfth time or your first time, there’s something for everyone.

“…Just being able to do something that they kind of see as what the grown ups do, so then they get their turn to do it too.”

Katie’s Pumpkin Patch also offers hay rides and corn mazes. The farm opens every September and stays open as long as the weather allows….or, before Paul takes all of the pumpkins.

“I found all of the pumpkins!…inside all of those!”

Reporting from Baldwinsville, New York – I’m Liv Johnson, NCC News.

By Olivia Johnson BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News)

Twenty-three years ago, David Hafner finished another season of selling wholesale pumpkins – a profession that’s been in his family for generations. As Hafner went out to empty the field of leftover pumpkins, his wife stopped him and asked if she could sell the rest of them. “So she and my daughter Katie came out here and sold them for a dollar a piece…they got rid of every last pumpkin that was in the field,” Hafner said.

Twenty-one years later, Katie’s Pumpkin Patch can expect anywhere from 200 to 400 cars of people on a busy day, Hafner said. The farm offers more than just pumpkins, too. Katie’s Pumpkin Patch sells other produce, including: gourds, squash, Indian corn, straw bales and corn stalks. They also offer $1 hayrides and free corn mazes when you purchase a product.

The success of Katie’s Pumpkin Patch does not just come from the quality of the produce, however. Hafner has been able to create a welcoming, family-like environment that keeps customers coming back year after year. “I can pretty much tell you, every year, who is going to be the first ones on the farm,” he said. During the interview, Hafner was able to point out almost every customer on the farm. He remembered details such as where they live, how many years they have come, and even details about their jobs and families.

Lucy Glouee, a member of the community who has been visiting for over twelve years, says her favorite part of coming to Katie’s Pumpkin Patch is the people. “I love the view, I love coming here…and that man [Hafner], he is so great. We really enjoy talking to him,” she said.

Hafner originally did not plan on going in to the family business. He went to school for accounting, and even had a job in the airline business for a few years. “I hated being inside. I hated being inside, doing accounting. I had to live out of a suitcase,” he said. Hafner came back to work on the farm after college. “I mean, the money would be better…but I would rather be at home, with my wife and kids – all of the time, not half of the time,” Hafner said.

Families can join the fun by visiting at either of Katie’s locations. On week days, they use a location off Route 370. On Sundays, they use a farm located at 8484 Dunham Road. The farms opened for the 2018 season on September 26th, and will stay open as long as the weather allows (most likely until the end of October, Hafner said).

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