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It’s been dry a dry summer, but it could have been worse. P. W. Morgan, a Huddleston farmer still ended up with a green corn maze and plenty of pumpkins in his pumpkin patch.
Morgan, like many area farmers takes steps to bring the public out to the farm. He has a corn maze every year and a pumpkin patch, selling pumpkins directly to the public. People can either pick their own in the pumpkin patch, or buy them already picked.
The corn maze and pumpkin patch are open to the public every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“The corn maze is beautiful with big ears,” Morgan said.
“The pumpkins are full,” he added. “Plenty of Jack O’lanterns for everybody.”
Morgan had to irrigate both to achieve this. He said that the pumpkins especially take a lot of water and he irrigated these twice a week.
“It takes a lot of water to grow pumpkins,” he said.
Morgan had to irrigate in order to get good quality and good size.
He hosts a fall festival in October, and this year’s is scheduled for Oct. 13, with a rain date of Oct. 14. The event includes an antique tractor pull, in which P. W. and his son, Eric, participate. P. W. uses a 1941 John Deere and Eric pulls with a 1950 Massey Harris. All the tractors in this event must have been built no later than 1950. It starts at 10 a.m.
The fall festival includes a display of animals, including calves and some miniature donkeys.
“It’s just a good family fun day,” he said.
They also have hayrides and some of the farm animals get excited when visitors come.
“The pigs, they like to put on a show when you ride past on the hay ride wagon,” he said.
Morgan also grows wheat and soybeans. He double crops these in the same fields, using no-till techniques. The wheat, which he plants in the fall, took a beating in March. A bad hail storm hit that destroyed 30 percent to 40 percent of it.
“It [the hail] broke six windows out of my house,” he said. “Some of our alfalfa fields looked like a weed eater had been through it.”
In spite of all this, the overall outlook is good. Morgan described his soy beans as “decent, not excellent, but decent.” He got 35 bushels per acre from the corn he grows for silage and anticipates 75 bushels per acre from the corn he will shell.
“We just keep trying,” said Morgan who has farmed all his life. “We just hope for better weather and better prices four the commodities we produce.”
Morgan’s farm is located at 2004 Tolers Ferry Road, in Huddleston. For more information about the Fall Festival, call (540) 871-0911.