Pumpkin Patch 2020
Wow. What a year. For everyone. Springtime hit and we realized this year would be different, so we changed our pumpkin planting. Summer came, and things kept changing. We brainstormed ideas of how we could still do pumpkin patch. Then the governor issued a farm mandate. And we adjusted our plans. Then he issued a second farm mandate, and we adjusted plans, again. (And he may change things yet again…) We’ve listened to the voices of our community, country, and around the world. Folks are angry, hurt, frustrated, worried, and terribly bitter. We’ve heard suggestions for the pumpkin patch that range from “run it like normal” to “don’t even bother this year”. In the midst of it ALL, our heart for our guests is the same. We desire to create an opportunity to step AWAY from all the fear, the concern, the weight of current social and political strife…and just allow folks to spend a little bit of time with their family and friends, enjoying a tradition they’ve had for years, visiting the farm and searching for a pumpkin. Just a little slice of “normal” is our wish for you.
IT WILL BE DIFFERENT. This year dictates that. We will be following the governor’s mandates for farm visits. It is by following these guidelines that we can preserve the opportunity for folks to visit. We are not a large corporation. We are just a family. A couple of parents and their kids. This is our home. We are placing ourselves at the center of the hub of all the guests that visit our farm. We will not be having extended family nor volunteers assisting us this year. For your benefit, and farm-access preservation, we are choosing to self-quarantine (mostly) our family from mid-September through the end of pumpkin season. You will notice when you visit, that we will have very little/no contact with any of our guests. That is not an easy decision for us, because we enjoy interacting with all of you! But, by keeping ourselves removed physically, we can keep the farm available for guests. We will be working hard to keep everything going, but without the personal interaction we’re all accustomed to. This is intentional, but we sure don’t like it. (If you don’t understand the reasoning behind this, consider what happens if someone visits our farm early in the month, and then tests positive for illness….if we have personally interacted with this individual, we are at risk of having to shut down the whole farm. We cannot “send an employee home for two weeks”, this is our family!) You will see us… behind plexiglass, sanitizing things, socially distanced from our guests. Sigh. Not the way we like it at all. But, we want this opportunity available for you to enjoy, and this is the way we can protect that.
We have spent many, many hours determining what our farm policies will look like for 2020. They are not ideal, we know, but they are the best we could come up with, all things considered. We understand not everyone will be able to attend pumpkin patch this year, we will only be accommodating a fraction of our normal farm attendance. Some folks will decide that picking up a grocery store pumpkin is exactly what their family needs to do this year, and we totally support that! We are going to the effort to open the farm for those families for whom visiting the farm is an important and meaningful tradition for their family.
Farm Policies 2020
1.We will be following the guidelines established by the Washington State Governor in order to keep the farm open and protect the opportunity for folks to visit the pumpkin patch. We appreciate our guests following those guidelines as well. Signs will be posted as reminders. 2.Visits will be by appointment ONLY. (Crowd-size limited to allow for social distancing). 3.Admission is through an online ticketing system. The cost of admission is $7.50 per person. (Infants under 24 months do not need to purchase a ticket, their admission is free).
a.60 minute farm visit (+15 for arrival/+15 for departure) b.Farm Ride
hay ride* all day on weekends & evenings after 4pm
pumpkin barrel ride* (for children only) weekdays before 4pm
*these can change without notice
c.Opportunity to visit and feed farm animals d.3 water balloons (per paying guest) for pumpkin slingshot e.Pumpkin trail adventure and puzzle f.Opportunities for photos g.A sanitized wagon, assigned to you at check in, to be utilized during your visit
h. Opportunity to select a pumpkin to take home (NOTE: Pumpkins are purchased
separately. They are NOT included with admission. You do not have to buy a pumpkin to
visit the farm, but if you want to take one home, you must purchase it before you leave.)
In order to be compliant with the “avoid lingering” part of the governor’s mandate, as well as eliminating activities that are difficult to sanitize, we will not have the lil’ pumpkin play patch, hay castle, superslide, swing on the maple tree, nor access to the craft cottage. We will also not be hosting any parties or field trips in 2020. (You are welcome to attend as a group, by online booking together, but we will not provide picnic tables for parties, nor field trip organization as we have in prior years.)
What we ask of our guests…. Above all else, PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS. There are a lot of strong opinions and ugly behavior out there. We ask you to be kind. Everyone is aware of the mandates. We ask that our guests honor them. We also ask that our guests be understanding. This is a traditional family event which includes all ages and many folks with illness-related risk factors, as well as difficulty breathing through masks (including babies and elderly family members). We ask that your actions protect and respect them. Step a little further away if you need to. Many families choose to take photos, please understand that they may not want to wear their masks for their family photos – that is reasonable. Step a little further away if you need to. Some folks are deeply concerned when they are exposed to someone not wearing a mask. Please respect their concern. And again, you can always step a little further away if you need to. There is a lot of space on our farm. Crowd sizes will be much smaller than usual. If everyone is kind, and considerate, understanding, respecting, and protecting others with their attitudes, words and behaviors… the pumpkin patch will continue to be a pleasant place for everyone… a chance to make special memories with those we love. And this year? There is no greater gift you can offer to those in your community.
Our family will be working very hard to make this all happen. We will not have the time, nor do we desire to monitor/police behaviors. If you feel you cannot abide by expectations of kind and considerate behavior (regardless of your opinions on either side of difficult issues), or if you feel the need to make a profound social statement in public settings, we very humbly invite you to consider visiting a different farm, or perhaps selecting pumpkins at one of the many grocery stores in the area.
If you desire to reserve the entire farm for your visit, we can arrange that, by booking all the appointments for the time frame you prefer, plus the appointments prior to your visit, so the farm is entirely empty except for your group (which still cannot exceed the preset capacity). (At $7.50 per booking slot, that could be expensive, but it is possible.)
Gather together with your family or group of close friends, and book your visit times together! Then you're sharing the farm with folks you already know!
The booking system is set up to allow 15 people to book every 20 minutes on the farm. This staggers arrival and departure times at the farm stand, but we anticipate your “on farm” visit will be around an hour or so. If you are trying to book a large group together, we still cannot exceed the on-farm capacity that we have established, but we CAN make your arrival and departure time concurrent instead of staggered. Let us know what you’re trying to do, and we’ll see how we can make it work on our end.
Let us all work together to create a pleasant atmosphere for a fun and enjoyable 2020 pumpkin season!
Looking forward to seeing you at the farm in October!
😊The Creek House Farm Family