The Gold Family Farm, a local farm, nestled six miles southwest of Ohio University has been a hotspot for pumpkin picking in years past. But this year, the pumpkin pickings are slim.
In 1937, the parents of current owner, Julie Garner, started the farm, growing mostly produce and raising a small amount of cows, hogs and chickens. They harvested everything from hay to corn and tomatoes to peppers.
By 2005, Mr. Gold passed away and Garner and her husband moved back to their hometown and asked Mrs. Gold to take over the farm and name it in honor of their favorite man, Mr. Gold.
Since 2005, the couple has maintained great business at the farm, hosting a pick your own pumpkin patch and hay rides, as well as selling their produce. Unfortunately, over the past two years the harvest has failed to produce a substantial crop thanks to uncooperative weather.
Because of the lack of harvest, the farm has barely brought in any money and the pick your own pumpkin patch has been cancelled for the second year in a row, upsetting customers.
Five years ago, the Garner’s created a solution for mediocre harvests, a flea market, as a way to bring in people and money during the years that didn’t fare so well. In 2010, the farm hosted only 10 vendors, but this past weekend they had a remarkable 99 vendors set up selling natural foods, crafts and hand-made items.
Their Facebook page is filled with positive feedback and excitement about the flea market’s success. Despite overwhelming success with the flea market, it is still difficult for the farm to stay afloat.
“I think this will be the last year for the farm. We will probably keep a small garden but this year will be it for the farm,” Garner said.
Two years without a successful harvest put the Garner’s in a difficult position. But both agree that it is time to give the farming life a rest and move along and start pursuing other dreams and goals.
“It’s definitely bitter sweet. We are sad about it in a lot of ways. Sure we will miss it but we have other adventures,” Garner said.
Customers are also upset to see the traditional farm go.
“My organization has held a sisterhood event there and it was a great time! This year we couldn’t go because they had no pumpkins. It was a bummer,” Haley Stultz, a senior at Ohio University, said.