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Although the Bedford area has been getting a good bit of rain this month, the weather was dry in the summer. According to P. W. Morgan, who operates a family farm in Huddleston, his farm went 48 days without rain. Morgan raises wheat, soybeans, corn and beef cattle.
The wheat is harvested in June and did very well. Along with selling the grain, Morgan markets square bales of wheat straw.
“We can deliver that in tractor trailer loads,” he said.
The corn and soybeans were another story. After harvesting the wheat, Morgan planted the corn and the beans in the same fields, using no-till techniques. He said that the corn started growing, then it got hot and dry. The result is that the soybeans were ruined and he only got about 10 percent of the corn. He also had to feed his cattle, rather than pasture them, although the pastures have now greened up.
“But we have plenty of pumpkins because we irrigated,” he said.
Like a number of other farms in the area, Morgan’s farm also has an agriculture tourism side to it. He opens the farm to the public in the fall. That’s where the pumpkins come in. People can pick them from five acres worth of pumpkin patch.
“There are really some nice pumpkins out there,” he said.
Along with the typical bright orange pumpkins from which people make jack-o-lanterns, Morgan has another type that looks kind of like a beige flying saucer. It’s called a Long Island Cheese pumpkin. Morgan said that back years ago, before mechanical corn harvesters, people planted these in their corn fields. After they harvested the corn, the pumpkins would be available for pies in November.
He also has a corn maze, and this fared better than his regular corn crop. It was planted earlier and got a chance to grow to a good height before the weather turned dry. It features the letters VT in the center, in honor of Morgan’s favorite college football team.
The farm is open to visitors seven days a week and hay rides are available, as well as a chance to check out farm animals or get lost in the corn maze.
There is also antique tractor pulls on Saturday, Oct. 29. Morgan said that the tractors come in from the Southwestern Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Association and range in vintage from the late 1930s to the ‘50s. These tractors all run. Oct. 29 also features apple butter making. Palestine Baptist Church is serving food that day.
Morgan’s farm is located at 2004 Tolers Ferry Road and Morgan said he has two large signs up on 122 to direct people to the farm. for more information, call (540) 297-4764 or (540) 871-0911.