The pumpkin patch is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (every day except Monday) at 953 74th Ave., Luverne. It is located just north of County Road 4 on 74th Avenue.
The Blackshire Farms Pumpkin Patch near Beaver Creek is now open for the season with nearly two acres offering 50 different pumpkins, squash and gourds, many of them heirloom varieties. The patch, owned by Sean and Marcella McFarland, is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (every day except Monday) at 953 74th Avenue.
“We stretch the boundaries of what goes into a pumpkin patch,” Sean said. “Almost everything that’s not an orange jack-o-lantern has traditionally been a culinary squash, many of them heirloom. You can eat an orange jack-o-lantern, but it doesn’t taste very good. The others taste really good, especially the Galeux d'eysines.”
“They taste good, but people like them for decorating,” Sean said. “I spend a lot of time in the winter deciding which varieties to grow. Last year the ‘One Too Many’ sold out right away. So, we decided to have more of that.”
The Blackshire Farms pumpkin crop is only about 70 percent as good as last year’s, due to this summer’s drought.
Cedar McFarland holds a popular three-lobe pumpkin. Beside him is a pumpkin showing the effects of the mosaic virus, which causes the pumpkin skins to turn variegated colors.
Galeux d'eysines pumpkins are also known as "peanut shell pumpkins" for the warts formed by sugar crystalizing under their peach-colored skin. It’s a French heirloom squash with a sweet flavor good for baking and making soups and stews.
A pumpkin showing the effects of the mosaic virus, which causes the pumpkin skins to turn variegated colors.
George the cat makes her way behind a pumpkin variety named “One Too Many,” marked by a lacy pattern on a pale color. “They must have decided there were actually too many varieties, and this one is ‘one too many,’” Sean said.
The heirloom hubbard squash are good for eating. However, Sean acknowleges that they’re mostly used in fall displays.