Family pumpkin farm opens in Port Orchard
October 15, 2009 · Updated 12:37 PM
“Everyone has their own job,” Alisa Blossey said of her and husband Eric’s large family, which is also the labor force for the family pumpkin farm. “Hansen manages the petting zoo, and Emmaline supervises the crafts.”
She continues, listing the duty roster for the new business, which opens this weekend.
Blossey, her husband Eric, and their seven children provide the staff for the Pumpkin Patch at Clear Creek Farm (Lydia, as an infant, is probably off the hook for this year).
The rest of the brood has pulled together to build a five-acre pumpkin patch from an idea to a supplemental business in about six months.
The Blossey family is large, with an emphasis on traditional values.
All the kids are home-schooled with no plans to enter the public education system (Garrett, the oldest, is 12).
The pumpkin business is not expected to generate a huge profit; rather it is only intended to help with the expenses of running the farm.
Even so, the kids believe in their own significance.
“If we didn’t grow the pumpkins and daddy didn’t find a job, we would have had to move,” one said.
Eric, however, was able to find a technical support job which eliminated the need to downsize.
And the pumpkin business’ revenue-generating ability became less essential.
The farm follows the standard pumpkin patch model, where customers select their own pumpkins from what is available on the ground.
It is not as large as similar businesses, but has depth and breadth.
There are around 1,000 pumpkins representing 23 different varieties.
The farm also offers a special service, customizing pumpkins by request.
This ship has sailed for this season, but is something to keep in mind for next year.
Here, they scratch messages into the pumpkin when it is still green, usually in August.
The message “scabs over” and can be picked up when it becomes ripe. This can be delivered directly, or turned into a treasure hunt where the customer follows
So far, the cleverest message is “Trick or Teeth,” which is destined for a local dentist’s office.
“People can say what they want on a pumpkin,” Alisa said. “And it lasts longer than a pumpkin that gets carved into a face.”
These custom orders are taken online and cost $5 above the per-pound cost of the pumpkin.
The family has not yet decided exactly what that will be, and is aware that a decision is required soon.
They have, however, figured out their financial model: There is no admission charged for the corn maze, the petting zoo or just to run around and have fun.
Income will come from pumpkin sales, and if the per-pound cost is a bit more than the local supermarket, the families will find it to be worthwhile.
“We enjoy this as a family,” Alisa said. “We all like to work hard, and use our resources. This is something that we can all work together doing, as we provide a blessing for others.”
The business will be open Fridays through Sundays during the holiday season.
For more information go to www.creekhousefarm.com