TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Tennessee’s agritourism season is in full swing.
Thousands of people will visit pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple orchards looking for décor, wagon rides, festivals, and all sorts of fun right up through Halloween. However, it’s not over after October.
Noble Springs Dairy, on Blazer Road between Franklin and Leiper’s Fork, doesn’t need to shut its doors when pumpkin season is over. The Nobles host fall festivals through October, but their dairy and creamery tours are available through November. “We might extend the festivals into November if the weather holds up,” Justin Noble said.
Instead of plowing under pumpkin vines and harvesting tattered corn mazes, some farms now let customers join them to officially end the harvest season with a smashing good time. Hybrid pumpkins developed for carving are typically bland and not used as food. So instead, farms are capitalizing on a craze that involves outrageous ways to demolish pumpkins with implements of destruction ranging from complicated catapults and cannons to simple sledge hammers.
“We’re celebrating with a Pumpkin Destruction Day on Saturday, Nov. 4,” Casey Scarlett with Autumn Acres in Crossville said. “This is a BYOP — Bring Your Own Pumpkin — event!” Visitors will get to use a huge wooden mallet to destroy former Jack O’ Lanterns. Autumn Acres will also hold a 5K mud run with a farm obstacle course.
For Mac and Jana Rogers, the busy season is just beginning. “For us sweet potato folks, it’s definitely not over in October,” Jana Rogers of McAlister and Rogers Farm near Taft said. The family grows a wide range of produce, but their sweet potato crop is their major agricultural endeavor. Not only does their harvest continue into November, but the farm offers sweet potato fundraisers through November and December to a number of organizations, including school and church groups.
Find farms and farmers markets with fall produce and extended autumn activities with the Pick Tennessee mobile app and www.PickTnProducts.org.