Variety Makes For Fun At Enchanted Acres

January 10, 2014

Our journey continues with Shannon Latham of Enchanted Acres. Shannon shares her adventures on her farm in North Iowa. And check out the video of her chickens- they love to eat! Follow Enchanted Acres on Facebook to keep up with the day to day happenings around her farm.

                                                           enchanted acres

When I was a kid, I always looked forward to the arrival of the JCPenney Wish Book. I’d spend hours upon hours, studying each page and drawing stars next to the items that I really wanted to find underneath the Christmas tree. Now that I’m adult, I have a similar fascination with the seed catalog.

Late winter / early spring means the arrival of the new seed catalog. This year there were pumpkin and squash varieties with fitting names like Cinderella and Fairytale. I couldn’t help but buy seeds with names like that! I also clicked on “Sorcerer” and added those seeds to my online shopping cart. With a rich, deep orange color and large handles, Sorcerer is extremely versatile. It may be carved, painted or used as pie filling.

Then I discovered the Porcelain Doll, a pink variety that is the official Breast Cancer Awareness pumpkin for October. I had to buy some of those seeds, too! I also put some “Galaxy of Stars” gourd seeds in my online shopping cart. I browsed the squash section and found myself filled with happiness just thinking about the “Carnival” variety, which makes a beautiful display item and has the very best ranking for eating. What’s not to love about a Carnival?

Before I knew it, I had more than 30 varieties of squash and gourds in my shopping cart! Since there is just one of me and more than 30 rows of pumpkins, I knew we had to find a way to let consumers know what varieties they were looking at and to communicate the best uses of that particular variety. That’s when I decided to create “field signs,” similar to what seed companies use to promote particular corn hybrids and soybean varieties. Then we mark a price on the bottom of each pumpkin, so we can put pumpkins of various sizes – but of the same variety – on the same pallet. Our goal is to make the pumpkin picking experience as enjoyable as possible for our guests.

We’ll even let you pick your own pumpkins. As you can see in this photo, there are lots of large, orange Atlantic Giants and many big, white Polar Pumpkins left to pick. We more than doubled our production this year because these biggies were so popular last year. Come out this weekend while the selection is still good! You might find one so big that you’ll want to enter it Sunday in the big pumpkin contest at the Harriman Nielsen Historic Farm. (Please read contest rules before entering.)

Speaking of big… our chicks are getting bigger by the day! In last week’s blog, I wrote about how much more they eat and drink. These meaty birds truly love to eat. Eating is truly their mission in life. Click on this video link to see how happy these chicks are at meal time!

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