Farmer Jim’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze ‘stacked’ during October

Published 9:56 am Friday, October 28, 2016


From the ground sprouts green, red, blue and even turquoise pumpkins.

Some children jump from hay bale to hay bale as others play in pools full of corn.

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October is all about pumpkin patches, corn mazes and all the festivities associated with fall.

That is never more true than at Farmer Jim’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Rolling Fork off of Mississippi 16.

For Jim Newman and wife Lynn, October is the month to shine.

“The last two weeks of October are our busiest of the year. It’s always stacked the last two weeks. That’s the way it’s been since we started,” Jim Newman said of the fall destination that first opened in 2006. “Vicksburg and Warren County have been good to us. We have people that come back to us every year. We’re just a small operation out here in the middle of nowhere, but people come.”

The pumpkin patch and corn maze open Oct. 1 every year, he said, and are a haven for children.

“These kids have free reign here running and jumping. We’re not going to tell a kid they can’t take a pumpkin home that’s bigger than them,” he said. “We’ve been doing it for awhile. When you get to be my age, you have to have fun with it. We have a good time with it. We’re just trying to grow a little every year.”

Approximately 1,500 school-aged children will pick a pumpkin, wander through a corn maze, splash in the corn kernel pools or play hay bale bowling during this month, Newman estimated.

The all-time favorite offering of Farmer Jim’s is the swimming pools full of corn, he said.

“It’s better than a sandbox,” he said, saying young children love the feel of the corn. “They have a hard time getting the kids out of those. They do enjoy it.”

He noted the farm features a small corn maze, a large corn maze and a hay bale maze. Each year the corn maze has a theme, and this year one is cut to look like the old St. John’s Episcopal Church near Glen Allan and the other spells out the church’s name, Newman said.

“We’ve only ever repeated on thing,” he said of a bear with a honeycomb they have used twice and noting he has a professional map out the route and then follows behind with a mower to cut the path.  “It always amazes me because it’s always the shape it’s supposed to be.”

On eight acres, 24 to 26 different varieties of pumpkins and gourds grow for the fall season. He said he never quite knows what to expect with some of the hybrid varieties, which once produced football-shaped pumpkins that he thought would never sell.

“To my surprise, the little boys loved them, and we sold every one,” he said. “It made a unique thing we’ll probably never get again.”

He said adults love to decorate with the variety of pumpkins and gourds, picking the unique colors besides orange, which include green, copper, white, peach, etc.

“People will say, ‘I’ve never seen a pumpkin that color,’ and I always say, ‘Me neither until I grew them,’” he said.

Due to the large amount of rain in July affecting the normal care routine for the farm, Newman said the corn hasn’t grown as tall as normal, and he won’t have as many extra pumpkins as usual. He estimated instead of between 1,500 and 2,000 extra pumpkins that he would have 500 this year.

“The pumpkin crop is probably 25 percent off the normal, and the corn isn’t as tall this year either,” he said, noting it hasn’t caused any major issues. “Those who want to go through the maze want to try to make it out, and it’s still a challenge, and we’ve got enough (pumpkins) left to do our groups and the final weekend.”

Farmer Jim’s is open only to school and day care groups by appointment on weekdays, and is open to the public on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays in October.

In addition to being open regular hours on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, Farmer Jim’s Haunted Maze, which this year features a mad butcher, will be open Oct. 29 from 9 p.m. until midnight by reservation only through their Facebook page.

Call 662-907-3359 for more information.