Big Stone Pumpkin Patch Showcases Farming with Entertainment
Mark and Emily Mueller, owners of the Big Stone Pumpkin Patch, hosted guests on Sept. 13 during the SDSPA tour featuring Agritourism. Their farm is on a gravel road a few miles from the paved highway, just southwest of Big Stone City, SD.
The Mueller’s started The Pumpkin Patch in 2012 with a ‘pick your own’ pumpkin concept. Since then they have added hayrides, a jumping pillow, barrel train rides, a corn maze, a corn dig, climbing bales and more. In 2017, they started hosting weddings in the barn. The customer draw extends approximately a 30-45 mile radius.
“The pumpkin patch endeavor is a part of a full-time farming operation which we have grown over the years by customer support, “said Emily Mueller.
They open their farm to the public on weekends during the pumpkin season, but also offer scheduled field trips for schools and other groups on weekdays. Guests can choose to pick their own pumpkin from the fields or select pre-picked pumpkins, gourds, specialty pumpkins, Indian corn, straw bales and corn shocks housed in a retail sales area.
The Mueller’s attention to appearance and visitor accommodations is evident with the corn maze, picnic areas, restroom facilities, parking areas, hayrack rides, colorful display areas and restored barn.
The Mueller’s discussed the process of producing specialty products and entering the agritourism market. “Information and education from other producers has been our best resource to expand the business,” said Mark Mueller. Some lessons learned were pumpkin varieties, seed suppliers, entertainment ideas and production tips.
The tour was informative and a good educational opportunity. The Mueller’s creativity at Big Stone Pumpkin Patch to provide entertainment and to sell pumpkins created a niche market, which provided valuable ideas for attendees.
SDSPA extends a warm thank you to SDSPA members Beverly & James Lamers for helping staff during the tour.