This past summer's hot temps and long dry spells created a shortage of Ohio's pumpkins. But Steve Lehner, owner of Lehner's Pumpkin Farm in Delaware County, explains that a cool burst of air blew across Ohio’s farm fields just in time to give those vines the reprieve they needed to produce that glorious orange-colored fruit – although the surplus is not as abundant as in previous years.
At Lehner's Pumpkin Farm, this year's pumpkins, or “miracle” pumpkins, as Steve refers to them, are free of the premium price tag you might expect. All pumpkins are priced at $.50 to $8.00, and you don’t pay an admission or parking fee to enter the patch.
Lehner's, located in Radnor, is a real working farm where kids can pick their own pumpkin right off the vine. You'll find an eight-acre corn maze dotted with farm-animal-themed statues, a petting zoo, barrel train rides, jumping house and free hayrides on Saturday and Sunday. Lehner's Treasure Chest Gift Shop offers seasonal and OSU decorations, purses, soaps, ornaments and Ohio-made jams and jellies.
The pumpkin patch, which sits behind a fully restored brick Victorian farmhouse, started growing 17 years ago when Steve's son, Shawn, then in middle school, asked his father for a patch of his 185 acres of farm land, to plant 10 pumpkin seeds for a 4-H project.
Those 10 seeds produced 100 pumpkins! Shawn loaded those 100 pumpkins on a wagon, and sold them all in one weekend. His “experiment” proved so successful, that he expanded the number of seeds to create what is now the 50-acre pumpkin patch. Eventually, he gained the attention of The Ohio State University, which offered him a scholarship to study Business and Agriculture.
Since this year's weather has shifted between unseasonably cool to unseasonably hot and back again, don’t procrastinate on pumpkin-picking. The Halloween treat will come to the early birds who head out now to the pumpkin patches--which are located throughout Ohio--to gain a proper Jack-O-Lantern to perch on their porches. For pricing on group events and more details call, 740-595-3207, or visit the Lehner's Pumpkin Farm website.