Another Season in Full Swing at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm
Story and Photos by Elmer Martinez
WHEATLAND, CA (MPG) – In an era of immediate gratification, it can be challenging to get the whole family together for an experience outside of the comfort of home. Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm is a unique destination in Northern California, boasting over 90 acres of pumpkin fields, a three-acre corn maze, and a zipline. The farm opened on September 19th and will stay open until November 1st.
With an expected attendance of over 180,000, the farm is no small production. Operations Manager Austin Bishop equates the opening of the farm to preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast, except on a much larger scale. On top of the traditional appeal of the farm, this year will feature new menu items at the bakery and deli on “Wacky Wednesdays.” Also, every Friday in October will end with a fireworks display starting at 7:45 p.m. One of best features of the farm is the dedication to keeping a rustic feel while providing modern conveniences such as electric hand dryers in the bathrooms and baby-changing stations.
“Everybody has their own opinion on what brings them back every year,” said Bishop. “For some people, it’s the pie or the tri-tip sandwich, or even the train ride.”
The farm’s first year of operations was in 1973 and featured a single pony that people could walk around themselves with, of course, a few pumpkins in the field. Now, the farm is a bona-fide attraction with a feeling akin to larger theme parks.
The legacy of Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm extends through generations. Adrian Guzman, a college student and assistant operations manager, has been coming to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm ever since he was a kid. “This is my fourth season working here, but I’ve been coming to the pumpkin farm every year since I can remember,” said Guzman. “Now that I work here, I love walking around helping families by taking their group pictures for them so that they can all be in the photo. I love helping them make those memories like the ones I have with my own family.”
What Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm does best is to give people a taste of a simpler time. Attractions like the hayride down a country road and the sound of farm animals, combined with an overall rustic aesthetic, awaken a feeling of nostalgia. “Our attractions bring everyone together and gets them in touch with their inner farmer,” Bishop said. “Most people are only a few generations removed from a farmer themselves, and this farm gives them a taste of home even if they now live in a town or a city.”