St. John’s Pumpkin Patch open through October
KINGMAN – The season of the pumpkin is here, a time when people turn out in droves to get supplies for pumpkin pie and jack o’ lanterns. Choosing the perfect pumpkin is a tradition for some, and if done at the St. John’s United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch, comes with the satisfaction of helping one’s community.
The pumpkin patch is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week throughout the month of October at St. John’s, 1730 Kino Ave. The pumpkins come from a company in North Carolina, which grows the pumpkins in New Mexico.
Within the past few years, St. John’s says there has been some misinformation floating around Kingman about its pumpkin patch. The church is in partnership with Pumpkin Patch International, and has to follow its rules and regulations. That means the price of pumpkins is not up to the church, but is outlined within the contract with Pumpkin Patch International.
“We have to sign a contract, we are supposed to be open so many hours a day, we measure (the pumpkins) for circumference with measuring tapes that have the prices on them,” explained Steven Hockingberry of St. John’s. “We are not allowed to give any away.”
The smallest items at the patch, around the size of a baseball if not smaller, can be purchased for 75 cents. The prices increase with the size of the pumpkins, and can reach from $2-3 all the way to giant pumpkins at $30 or $40.
St. John’s has to keep a record of pumpkins sold throughout the month of October, data that it then provides to Pumpkin Patch International. The organization uses those numbers to decide the number of pumpkins St. John’s will receive the next year. The church received around 1,380 pumpkins this year, with the vast majority still available. The only way to receive a free pumpkin is to wait until after Oct. 31.
The funds raised from the annual pumpkin patch go to the youth group at St. John’s United Methodist Church. More specifically, the money helps the youth group complete service projects that take place in Arizona, other states and within the Kingman community. In the past, those service projects have included painting facilities and clearing outdoor areas of trash and debris.
“I’ve done this probably about 10 years, and I have people come in and say ‘I buy them from here because it benefits the youth group,’” Hockingberry said.
People can head to St. John’s to take fall-themed photos, and the purchase of a pumpkin is not required. The church has also scheduled a Harvest Festival slated for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. There will be games, activities, food, soda and chips. Candy will also be handed out.