Shannon Latham, owner of Enchanted Acres, standing in front of her barn and pumpkins.

A Magical Day of Pumpkins and More at Enchanted Acres

A week of filming can be grueling.  Up before dawn, film all day, finish after the sun goes down, sleep a little, and do it again the next day.  By the middle of a filming week, the crew and I are exhausted and everything seems a little less magical. Day three of filming on an early fall Iowa trip was no different. That is until we pulled into Enchanted Acres. 

Just pulling into the drive through the intricate gate and under the Enchanted Acres sign felt slightly magical. 

Magic In The Air

Up the drive, we pulled through piles of bright orange, green, white, and even blue pumpkins.  Walking up to the barn I was greeted by a few cute and friendly barn kitties. And the bleating of a small group of goats off in the distance. 

Orange pumpkins at Enchanted Acres.

Inside the barn and store, I found FarmHer Shannon Latham bustling around. She was getting ready for the bus of local kids that was on its way to the pumpkin patch.  I followed with my camera as Shannon quickly went out and fed the rabbits and goats, all of which stemmed from 4-H projects that her daughter had, and which are now the delightful residents of Enchanted Acres. 

After feeding the hungry herd, Shannon and her dad loaded up some bales of hay into the utility vehicle. They drove it over to what was left of the pumpkin patch in preparation for reading a book to the kids. 

A Magical Experience for School Children

As the bus pulled up, Shannon and her parents, who work daily at the patch to help their daughter’s dream be a reality, finished their final preparations.  Before you could say “BOO!”, the kids poured off the bus, buzzing with excitement over their visit to Enchanted Acres.  Shannon and her parents quickly split the group into three separate areas, with each one of them staffing that area. 

A school bus load of children greeted by woman at Enchanted Acres.

Shannon read a book about the growing stages of a pumpkin to the kids.  Part of her dream of running a pumpkin patch isn’t just seeing the excitement of the kids being at the patch. But she also aims to connect them with agriculture through their experience there.  She starts by reading to them about how a pumpkin grows.  From there, she shows them the growing fruit. 

This season has been a tough one for the farm, with lots of moisture which doesn’t suit the pumpkins well.  Shannon was forced to harvest most of the fruit from the vines before they opened for the season.  After Shannon read the book, she took them to the pallets of beautiful round and colorful pumpkins, the final product. 

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag and More

A recipe for Pumpkin Pie in a bag.

From there they went into the barn to try the “Pumpkin Pie in a Bag” that Shannon’s mom, Shirley, made. The kids had a chance to see what could be made from the fruit.  There they also got to make a fun little pumpkin face craft.  

The final stop was to see the goats, rabbits, and fowl residents of the farm. This station is headed up by Jim, Shannon’s dad.  

Man holding goat in front of mums for sale at Enchanted Acres.

An Enchanting Time For Everyone

It was not only fun, but I would say downright magical to experience the sheer joy and excitement of the kids’ trip to the farm. Many of them hadn’t been to a farm before, petted a goat, seen a chicken up close, or even tried pumpkin.  But on that enchanted day, they got to experience all of it. 

Through Shannon’s creation and hard work at her farm, she is passing a little bit of her huge love of agriculture on to the next generation.  To top it off, like whipped cream on a piece of pumpkin pie, she gets to share her journey in spreading the love of agriculture with her family, in the joyful world of Enchanted Acres.

11 thoughts on “A Magical Day of Pumpkins and More at Enchanted Acres

  1. What a lovely post! I live in regional/country Victoria, in Australia, in a tiny town called Lancaster in the Goulburn Valley in the North of the Victoria … the “Fruit Bowl Capital”.

    We have long, very hot Summers here compared to Melbourne in the South. Perfect for pumpkin growing too. I belong to the largest, most influential, women’s organisation CWA – Country Women’s Association. We fundraise for Women & Children primarily.

    You Pumpkin Pie in a Bag recipe is one I am going to share … I might have to tweak it, Australianise it a bit, as we don’t have Graham Crackers here unless you import them. We have a junior membership & I think they would like this.

    I will link back to this post though. Thank you for a look into your life on The Land. If you want to listen to a podcast about Australian women who are doing amazing things in the Southern hemisphere, go to this link.
    https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/life-on-the-land/id1528231879

  2. I saw your show on Farm Her. You were really great with the kids. I have a question about growing pumpkins. I grew Cinderella pumpkins from seeds that I got from a ripe pumpkin. They grew all over the place and produced about a dozen large green pumpkins. the pumpkins never turned orange. they stayed dark green. I left them on the vines until late in the fall then picked them thinking they would eventually turn orange. What could I have done differently to have them orange up? Thanks

  3. I like that Shannon is teaching other kids about pumpkins ans I like the pumpkin pie in a bag recipe. I did not know that most kids haven’t ever been to a farm of had pumpkin! I thought that was interesting. I will use that recipe to make some pumpkin pie in a bag.

  4. I love this story that sounds so fun.I didn’t know that pumpkins could be blue.That is really amazing.
    Summer 5 odd 6th Grade Health Class.

  5. Reading that article makes me want to visit the Enchanted Acres. However I noticed that the pumpkin pie in a bag it used a lot of ginger. I am not a fan of ginger and I was wondering if there was something I could replace it with? Or if it wouldn’t matter if I put less than the 1/2 tsp of ground ginger?

    Thanks and I hope to here from you soon
    Sincerly, Charli Mrs. Arey 5 odd

  6. I love this post! I love how Shannon wants to not only give the kids a fun time but she also wants to connect and get to know them too! I learned that you can make pumpkin pie in a bag, my family will love it. I also learned that pumpkins can be blue! This is a good article to teach people how to have a farm that not only is fun but will also for be the good of the community.

  7. Mack 3E 6th-grade health WHen I read your story and about the pumpkins, I was in love every we go to our local pumpkin patch and I love it.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this because it is so heartwarming that you have taught some little children about how you harvest pumpkins. I’m sure that if I was there I would be excited to learn more about all different kinds of pumpkins. I think it must be so fun making “Pumpkin Pie in a Bag”, I would really like to try the sweet treat sometime.

  9. That really seems like a fun place. I have a couple of questions. One, are there any gluten-free substitutes for the pumpkin pie? Two, how big is the patch? And three, what types of animals are there?

  10. I really liked this story in particular because of how Shannon is teaching the kids about pumpkins. The pumpkin pie recipe is also very interesting, sounds good!

  11. I think that it is super cool I also did not know that the pumpkins can grow green white or blue.

    thanks Hope to hear from you soon

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