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.
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.
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
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.
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.