Pumpkin season has arrived at Waterman’s Family Farm. With two locations in Indianapolis and Greenwood, Ind., there is plenty to see and do at the pumpkin patch this fall.
Pumpkin season has arrived at Waterman’s Family Farm. With two locations in Indianapolis and Greenwood, Ind., there is plenty to see and do at the pumpkin patch this fall.
GREENWOOD, Ind. — Nothing says autumn like a hayride and a field full of pumpkins ready for picking.

At Waterman’s Family Farm, there are plenty of pumpkins and gourds ready for harvest. Their annual Fall Festival runs through the entire month of October and is open every day of the week.

The farm has wagonloads of pumpkins ready to sell at the farmers market, along with a u-pick option. Tractors bring visitors to the field to pick their own pumpkin for 35 cents per pound.

“The pumpkins are looking very good this year,” said Carol Waterman, who runs the farm with her husband. “The season has been so much better than last year was. We had fantastic pumpkins last year because we were able to irrigate.

“This year we irrigated, as well, but just to boost them, not to save them. It was just to get them through the rough spots.”

Pumpkins are planted in the early part of summer. Harvest runs from late September through middle to late October.

When there is a frequent morning frost, it is time to get them out of the field, Waterman said.

The Waterman farm grows several varieties of fall produce.

“We grow a lot of pie pumpkins. They are smaller ones for young children and for people who want to make pies,” Waterman explained. “The others kinds will work for pies, too. We grow a variety considered a carving pumpkin.

“We grow some prize winners, a larger variety. They are a different shade, more red than the others. We also grow some white pumpkins, gourds and mini pumpkins.”

While visiting the farm, people can take a look at the mechanical pumpkin-eating “dinosaur” that resides on the property.

“She roars, chomps on pumpkins and makes a delightful mess,” Waterman said. “Sometimes the little kids are afraid because it is noisy, but they always want to come back and see it because they are intrigued.”

Waterman said that farmers sometimes take leftover pumpkins to use as feed for livestock.

At the end of the season the farm hosts another unique way to get rid of pumpkins.

“The first Saturday of November, we also polish it off with the Punkin’ Kerplunkin,” Waterman said, “which is where you bring your pumpkin back and fling it on a slingshot back into the fields to smash it. It’s fun.”

For those who want to use pumpkin for baking, Waterman shared her tips for cooking it.

After rinsing it, she puts the pumpkin in a Crock-Pot and sets it on high for an hour. After that, she cooks it on low from two to four hours.

“When I remove it, it will fall apart. I’ve never had to cut a hard shell,” she said. “You can scoop out the seeds and use the pumpkin for pies, breads, cookies and soup.”

The farm also has a petting zoo, pony rides, a combine slide, concession stands and much more. For a taste of what else Waterman’s offers, visit www.watermansfamilyfarm.com.