Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘pumpkins’

Schumaker Farms Takes Pride in Their Heritage

Schumaker Produce Stand

Schumaker’s’ Produce Stand gets ready to open for another busy day.

Once a farmer, always a farmer

   Driving just outside of West Lafayette, a small produce stand catches your eye. At this time of year, pumpkins, squash, and cornstalks give you a feel of fall in the air. But there’s much more to the story of Schumaker Farms than just their produce stand. Let me tell you the rest of their story.

Schumaker Family

Today the farm is run by Chad, Leigha, Wendy, and Jim Schumaker.

   Way back in 1806, now we’re talking over 200 years ago, the family of Francis McGuire from Hampshire County, Virginia settled here on 1500 acres. Their daughter, Magdalena, married George Miller, and that family tradition has continued to operate this farm for seven generations.

Schumaker Signs of Fall

Signs of fall at the produce stand include pumpkins, squash, and cornstalks.

   Jim and Wendy Schumaker are the present family members working on this farm. Now their farm is much smaller as when it was passed down, the land was split between heirs. But pride in their heritage continues. Jim’s great-grandfather was the original owner. Several family members are buried high on a farm hill in Miller-McGuire Cemetery where their spirits keep watch over the farm.

Schumaker Old Barn

The date of 1887 can still be faintly seen on the slate roof of this original barn.

   The buildings on the farm date back to 1887 as you can easily see from the printing on the barn’s slate roof. Jim has strived over the years to improve the farm. ”I want to make it a showplace to share the farm with other people.” He’s always looking for new things to include to promote the farm in agritourism.

Schumaker Jim

Jim proudly displays the Bicentennial Farm Award for 200 years of family farming.

   They sell their produce in the summer months from a building constructed by Jim’s father, Robert, following his service in WWII. It was first used as a commercial garage, then later as an auto shop, Ferguson tractor dealership and boat dealership.

   Their most popular item at this produce stand is sweet corn. With eight acres of corn, they pick it fresh every morning. They have raised sweet corn for 58 years and sell about a hundred dozen ears a day all summer long.

Schumaker Donna Addy Cookie Maker

Donna Addy frequently bakes delicious cookies in the morning.

   Wendy keeps busy with her catering business as well since 1995. Perhaps she picked up her love of cooking from her grandmother, who was a great cook. But most of all, Wendy enjoys working with the various people she meets.

Schumaker Banquet Facility

Their banquet pavilion is a popular place for receptions and fundraisers.

   Their catering service can be “at our place or yours”. Their place is a large pavilion on the farm where people frequently have wedding receptions, family reunions, and other special events. Wendy caters all around the area and was recently honored to cater the luncheon for the dedication of the Woody Hayes bronze statue during the “Gateway to Fall” celebration in Newcomerstown.

Schumaker Wendy at truck

Wendy holds a jar of their famous BBQ sauce beside her catering truck.

   People enjoy favorites such as cheesy potatoes, pulled pork, and meatballs. Schumaker Farms Sweet BBQ Sauce became so popular, they now have it bottled so you can take home that great taste.

thumbnail_Schumaker Chad and Leigha with scarred pumpkin

Chad and Leigha hold a pumpkin she scarred when it was green.

   Today their son Chad and his wife Leigha have taken over many of the day-to-day operations and plan to keep the farm going. Leigha has a special flair for decorating while Chad has loved farming since his youth. They are in charge of the seven-acre pumpkin patch.

   Fall is Fun Time at Schumaker Farms. On weekends you can hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch, where you can pick the pumpkin of your choice.

Schumaker Hay Ride

Many schools take field trips to the farm and include a hayride.

   Bring the youngsters along to play in the corn bin, slide down their huge slide, and visit the petting zoo. Enjoy the corn maze and a barn straw maze while picking up fresh produce or a delicious snack. Admission is $5 a car and includes all activities.

Schumaker Corn Bin

Children enjoy playing in the corn bin.

   Field trips for school groups create a great learning experience with a retired teacher explaining how a pumpkin becomes a pumpkin as well as other insights into farming. The Schumakers explain, “Those roly-poly orange spheres with built-in handles on top are naturals to wear grins or sneers and destined to bring grins to all your students’ faces.”

   When they eventually “slow down” and take a break, a cruise to a warm climate is their top choice. This chance only happens in January or February when they have enjoyed the Caribbean and Panama Canal in the last few years.

   Stop by Schumaker Farms for their Pumpkin Patch & Farm Experience this fall. There are lots of things to see and do. These hard-working people enjoy their lives. For them, work is fun!

Schumaker Farms is located along OH-751 just west of West Lafayette. From US 36 take OH-751 south and watch for the farm produce stand on the left side of the road.

Goodbye Summer! Hello Fall!

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald's Corn Maze.

This giant ear of corn welcomes you to McDonald’s Corn Maze.

Pumpkins + Corn Maze = Thoughts of Fall

McDonald’s Corn Maze provides the perfect spot for families to discover the spirit of the fall season. In 2006, the corn maze was created with hopes that a few children might be able to enjoy it. Never did they expect that over 3,000 would make their way through the maze that very first year.

The theme each year differs. This year the five-acre corn maze features a cowboy with a lasso standing by a saguaro. Wonder if he’s going to lasso a pumpkin?

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

A play area along side the corn maze offers many possibilities to explore.

This is indeed a family affair involving three generations. Jim and Susan McDonald built their home between their parents’ farms on Adamsville Road in Muskingum County. This makes for close family ties and grandparents have opportunity to watch their two grandsons grow up.

Agriculture is their main interest and they want to teach youngsters and adults more about the process of getting food from the farm to the table. Jim lived on a farm all of his life so it was no surprise when he graduated from Ohio State University at their Agricultural Technical Institute with a degree in greenhouse and management production. He opened his first greenhouse the year after he graduated.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations.

All kinds of pumpkins are waiting to be taken home for decorations. Those in the front are called “Witches Warts”.

There’s no shortage of pumpkins here as McDonald’s has fifteen acres of pumpkins with choices of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Choose from Buckskin, White Pumpkins, or Witches Warts to name a few. They expect to have over 10,000 pumpkins this year as well as a large supply of mums, gourds, and cornstalks. Everything you need for a fantastic fall scene.

Pictures is an overview of the 2015 maze.

Pictured is an overview of the 2015 maze.

They cut the maze in June when the corn was about a foot high. The drawing of the maze scene was placed on a grid, then Susan carefully directed Jim on his mower foot by foot to make it perfect. That’s no small feat in a five acre maze.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim's enjoyments.

Educating students and adults about honey bees is one of Jim’s enjoyments.

Affectionately called Old McDonald, Jim has farming in his blood. School groups, 4-H clubs, scout troops and even seniors enjoy his stories about the farm. As you would expect, it’s not unusual for a verse or two of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to be part of the day’s events.

Maggie the Milk Cow even goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Maggie the Milk Cow goes to the county fair for demonstrations on how to milk a cow.

Today’s children don’t have much opportunity for up-close contact with real farm life. Jim wants them to understand where their food comes from. His enthusiasm about farm life is almost tangible. Even though it’s hard work, it obviously has its rewards as he enjoys telling children about pollination by honey bees, milking a cow, growing pumpkins and why it’s always earth day for a farmer.

This goat stands on top of a large bale of round ray and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn't he?

This goat stands on top of a large round bale of hay and peers into the plastic pipe used as a slide. Should he or shouldn’t he?

A petting zoo gives everyone a chance to be in contact with different baby animals such as a lamb, goat, duck, pig, or rabbit. Nearby a small playground contains a unique “sandbox” – a round watering tank filled with fifty bushels of shelled corn. There’s also stones to play hopscotch, and a slide made of plastic pipe atop bales of hay.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how early farmers lived.

Take a walk in the Enchanted Forest and discover how Ohio’s first farmers lived.

Then take a leisurely walk through Enchanted Forest and surround yourself with nature. Listen for the special sounds of the woods and learn about the plants that grow there as many have markers with names and uses. Deep in the woods is a teepee, home of Ohio’s first farmers.

McDonald's Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

McDonald’s Greenhouse also has a large assortment of mums to brighten your fall.

Sometime during your visit, be sure and climb on the hay wagon for a ride through the beautiful countryside filled with autumn leaves. Sit on bales of hay while the tractor pulls you down a path to see the fall season in beautiful Ohio. There’s a small admission price of only $6 per person for the day, but unlimited fun as it includes all activities.

A visit here adds up to a perfect fall experience filled with learning and fun…no ghosts or witches allowed, except for Witches Wart Pumpkins.

McDonald’s Corn Maze is located east of Zanesville, Ohio off I-70. Take Exit 157 (State Route 93) north to 3220 Adamsville Road. It’s only about two and a half miles from the interstate.

Autumn Sunday Drive in Beautiful Ohio

“Want to take a ride?” Those were familiar words growing up, as my father always enjoyed a drive through the country, at any season of the year. While mom always went along, she never enjoyed them as much as father and daughter. Since we liked to explore all the back roads, mom came to calling us “gypsies”. The passion for exploring has never left, so now you know a little background for my blog, Gypsy Road Trip.

This beautiful autumn Sunday Drive in the hills of  Southeastern Ohio began at the dam of nearby Salt Fork Lake.  With fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky, the shades of autumn leaves were reflected off the calm lake. Tranquility surrounds you here interrupted only by the distant sound of a speedboat sliding through the waters. Sit and soak in the sun and grab some fresh ideas floating through the air.

Sunday Drives are aimless ventures and who knows where the next random turn will lead. Along the side of the road the autumn colors catch your eye where a large red and white striped tent is fall home to Center Creek Farms. Here families  stop to let their children explore the scarecrows, pumpkins, and wagons that are all part of the fall scene. There is even a pick-your-own pumpkin patch so everyone can see pumpkins at their various stages from green to orange. No roadside stand at this time of year would be complete with out apple cider, preserves and honey. Bought a jar of local raw honey as it’s always good to ward off a cold when a sore throat first starts to develop.

Farther down the road, an old Studebaker pickup is loaded down with autumn treasures at the Troyer’s Country Market. There’s a cute scarecrow driving this load of beautiful mums, pumpkins and other autumn decorations. Mums were brought to the United States back in colonial times and colors range from the traditional yellow shades to oranges, purples, and pinks.  Since they are  ‘short day plants’,  chrysanthemums bloom in the autumn when the nights are longer.  A pot of beautiful mums will brighten your life, or the life of a friend, for perhaps several months.

Sometimes a single tree can catch your eye as it glows like a ray of sunshine.  Here a golden maple tree is the center of attraction in someone’s beautiful yard. Temperature and moisture are the two elements that determine the amount and intensity of autumn colors. The most beautiful colors occur when there is a series of warm autumn days with cool, but not freezing nights…following a year of a warm, wet spring with normal summer rainfall. With those determining factors, every autumn brings about a new spectacular display.

Had to top off the day with a stop in West Lafayette at a favorite ice cream stand. Noticed that keeping with the season they had pumpkin ice cream, so had to give it a lick. Wasn’t sure if the pumpkin would be something to my taste, so had them put a scoop of raspberry on the bottom so there would definitely be something deliciously satisfying. Both flavors hit the spot!

Any season of the year is a great time for a drive through the countryside wherever you happen to live.  If  for some reason you can’t take a drive, stop back and read another gypsy jaunt here on Gypsy Road Trip. Enjoy the adventure!

Tag Cloud