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Sentinel staff report–
It’s that time of year again — the 12-plus acre Pumpkin Farm on Old Auburn Road has re-opened for its 45th season, promising another month-long “farm experience” with corn maze activities, farm animals, a 30-foot tower slide, and more.
The Pumpkin Farm is located at 7736 Old Auburn Rd. in Citrus Heights and is open Tuesday-Sunday, from Oct. 1-31. The farm is closed on Mondays to give the Shymoniak-family operators a “sanity break.”
According to the farm’s website, 2019 marks the 45th year the farm has been in operation, making it one of California’s oldest family-run pumpkin farms. The attraction draws over 10,000 visitors each October, with youth groups and school field trips accounting for the majority of visits.
Farm activities include weaving through tall corn stalks, learning about farm operations, petting goats, or picking out a pumpkin. Annual hayrides are also offered which take small groups on meandering tours throughout the Farm — and also on a journey back in history.
In the late 1800’s the Farm was reportedly used for harvesting oak wood, before becoming an orchard, and then an area for bee-keeping, raising turkeys and dairy. In 1974 the Farm merged into its current use as a pumpkin farm.
Although only open for a month each year, family operators say it takes about six months of work each year to prepare for the annual busy season, with corn being planted in late July and other activities and plantings needing several months to get ready.
In prior years, the Farm was primarily operated by “Farmer Leonard” and three of his children. Leonard Shymoniak passed away two years ago, but his family has continued operations at the farm and also purchased a neighboring property at the corner of Mariposa Avenue and Old Auburn Road last year.
Hours of operation during the October season are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. As mornings are typically filled with school groups, farm operators recommend the general public come after 12 o’clock to miss the rush and fully enjoy the activities and learning experiences.
More information is available on the Farm’s web site: pumpkinfarm.net
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