Farm ready to open pumpkin patch for fifth year
With a giant caterpillar and massive pumpkins made from bales of hay already set up, it’s clear to those driving down 158th Street that Kerby Farm will soon be open for business.
The pumpkin patch and fall-themed play area for families is owned by Jim and Terri Kerby. The couple have been working for the past two weekends preparing to open their farm for the fifth year to area children.
“Most people that come out really do have a good time,” Jim Kerby said. “We try to make it real fun for the kids.”
Among the traditional pumpkin picking, of which there are two fields for both large and small pumpkins, the Kerbys have created an area that encompasses farm living and seasonal fun.
With play areas of slides, a haunted house, wagon rides, plenty of goofy photo ops and two corn mazes, the Kerbys said they just want to give a family a safe environment to let loose for a day.
“We want parents to let them play, get dirty and then put them to bed tired,” added Terri Kerby. “It’s really geared toward young kids that just want to play.”
Jim Kerby said the idea of opening up his farm to youngsters came from his love of farming. He thought the land would be a great place to grow pumpkins and when he saw how much his young grandson loved the pumpkin-picking experience each fall, Jim decided to join in.
As he began thinking about his own love of farming, he realized many children these days have never been on a farm. He said many of the children who visit Kerby Farm have never before seen a cow.
“I wanted to offer kids the opportunity to be on the farm,” Jim Kerby said. “I hope they get the feel of what a farm environment is and realize the work (farmers) put in every single day.”
In addition to the fun stuff, Jim Kerby said he’s thrown in interactive boards to help teach kids about pumpkins. From the seed to the pumpkin they see on their visit, Kerby said he hoped the children walked away with a little more understanding of what farming is all about.
Cost of admission to the farm is $3 per family member. That gives people full access to the farm to roam for as long as they like.
And with so many activities to do, Terri Kerby said it was not unlikely to see a family stick around for an entire day.
“It doesn’t take much to keep kids happy,” she said. “It’s about the simple things. We hope they make memories that will last forever.”
The cost of pumpkins, which is measured by weight, as well as some snacks of hotdogs and chips are extra. But, Terri Kerby said, every other activity, from milking a wooden cow to learning to lasso to seeing real live farm animals, is free with admission.
The farm opens Saturday, Sept. 26, and will remain open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Oct. 31. School groups are also welcome and can make appointments to visit during the week.
For more information, call (913) 441-1766 or go online to kerbypumpkinpatch.com.