For the third year Ryan and Teale Hemphill owners of Red Barn Farm of SECO, LLC near McClave, Colorado along with their children and close friends and family have planted nearly two acres of pumpkins which yields a crop of approximately 3500 of the autumn favorite gourd as part of their farm park, Agri-tourism attraction.
Teale Hemphill tells the Independent, “The first year we planted pumpkins (2019), was for the purpose of inviting schools to bring their students to a pumpkin patch in the fall. This hadn’t been an option around here for a few years prior, and we saw a huge value in getting kids out in a farm field and actually hand-picking a crop that had been grown for them. That idea grew into a mission to connect consumers with their food source, and we created Red Barn Farm of SECO, LLC, to accomplish that on our farm. In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt the blessing of working outside and being able to continue life close to normal, so we wanted to offer an outdoor activity for families in the fall for them to experience the same freedom. It was a success. We were very welcomed by the surrounding communities.”
Along with the large pumpkin patch, the farm also grows and creates a corn maze which encompasses about two acres within a 30-acre corn field. The corn maze theme this year is FARMS = FOOD.
Teale tells us, “We chose it to pay tribute to the farmers that grow the food we eat. We also like to choose themes that mix some agriculture education in with the fun. With this theme, visitors can go on a scavenger hunt to find signs in the corn maze that will teach them how much food the crops we grow produce. For example, our pumpkin patch would produce 15,000 pumpkin pies!”
The Red Barn Farm of SECO, LLC Facebook page has listed other fun educational facts about their farm and the crops they produce such as,
“Beef from our cattle herd makes about 320,000 hamburger patties each year.”
“1 acre of oats (which is about the size of a football field) makes 34,000 granola bars.”
“1 acre of wheat makes 5,000 loaves of bread.”
“This corn field would make about 250,000 bags of corn chips.”
Another attraction at the farm, is the petting farm where each year Teale and Ryan search for animals tame enough to interact with children. Some belong neighbors and friends, others are their own animals. “The petting farm is a huge favorite of our young visitors so it is worth the search for the right animals.”
The Hemphill family notes that their favorite part about owning and operating a farm park, Agri-tourism attraction is, “Watching kids and families enjoy our farm in ways similar to how we do. Everyone is outdoors and active, parents and grandparents are smiling, kids are running around free and getting dirty. It is SO fulfilling and makes the hard work worth it.”
A concession stand complete with canned and bottled cold drinks; hot chocolate, coffee, and apple cider; candy; specialty baked goods (pies, cookies, and pumpkin bread); and hot meal options of all-beef hot dogs, chili dogs, and walking tacos. The farm also hosts parties at the farm for birthdays or any other special occasion.
Like all businesses, the Red Barn Farm is not without obstacles, some of those obstacles that the farm must overcome are stated by Teale, “In the growing season, the main obstacles we face are those that all in production agriculture in our area face: weather conditions, pests, and water shortages. We follow regulations required of private businesses within Bent County and hold liability insurance on the farm park activities.”
This season will kick off Saturday October 1st from 1-6 pm and will operate every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in October.
“We’re most excited to get our fall season started. This year, we’ve added a few new varieties of pumpkins to our patch that are looking really neat. Visitors can also expect the same popular attractions of our Trike Track and big corn pits. We can’t wait to see the farm full of families!”