Autumn festivities – Lungren Girls’ Farm welcomes the fall season with pumpkins, corn maze
Worland – “Seven years ago we decided to grow some pumpkins,” says Kim Lungren of the Lungren Girls’ Farm in Worland.
Kim Lungren and her sister-in-law Sarah Lungren operate a pumpkin patch and corn maze each fall.
“There was a family in Worland who had grown pumpkins for awhile but wanted to get out of it, so we thought we would give it a shot,” she notes.
The success of the pumpkin patch soon led to a corn maze, a giant pumpkin contest, a hay bale slide and more.
“We have added things every year,” Lungren explains. “Last year, we added the hay bale slide, which has been awesome. We just finished putting up this year’s slide, and we made it another hay bale taller, so it’s pretty high. We have also added a bridge in the corn maze. It adds new height to the maze this year.”
Everyone in the Lungren family helps out, from stacking bales to building the slide and putting in test runs.
“We have a few days when we have family all testing it out together. That’s been one of the most fun things we have added in the last couple of years,” she remarks.
Fun in the corn
Other activities include a corn box, which is full of corn like a sand box, giant chalkboards and interactive corn mazes.
“We added activities to the corn maze that challenge visitors, so they’re hitting the whole corn maze, not just getting through it super fast. It gives them something to do inside the maze,” Lungren explains.
On weekends, the farm hosts nighttime corn maze runs, and guests use flashlights to navigate through the course.
“We’ve also added a food booth. We make chili, hotdogs, nachos and caramel apples. People come out just to eat sometimes,” she adds. “It’s a place where families can hang out all afternoon and be together.”
Spending time together
Families, students, youth groups and even senior citizens visit the farm to participate in the various activities. School groups have come from as far away as Cody and Lovell, and local groups, such as those from the rehabilitation center known as OWL Unlimited, visit the farm as well.
“They come from all over,” Lungren explains.
Birthday parties are also popular at the farm.
“For a birthday party, we use the fire pit. We provide stuff for s’mores and hot chocolate. We normally don’t have the slide open at night, but we have had a few birthday parties come at night, and we let them use it,” Lungren continues.
Another fall activity at the Lungren Girls’ Farm is the annual giant pumpkin contest, which attracts local growers and has featured pumpkins weighing over 500 pounds, so far.
“At the end of September, everyone loads their pumpkins on trailers and brings them out. We weigh them, and it gets pretty competitive,” Lungren remarks.
A cash prize, dependent on the number of entry fees, goes to the winner.
“We have between eight and 10 people entered right now for this year’s contest,” she comments.
The first year of the contest, veterinarian Steven Tharp took home the prize for a pumpkin that weighed in at 518 pounds. That was in 2012, and Lungren believes this year, that record will be topped.
“Everyone has their own little secret for getting their pumpkins so big,” Lungren says.
As for those that are grown on the farm, the Lungrens strive for jack-o-lantern sized pumpkins.
“People don’t want a ginormous pumpkin, but they want a bigger pumpkin they can carve,” Lungren explains.
The field has a variety of different pumpkins, so everyone can find the one pumpkin is just right for them.
“We have all sorts. We have the white polar bear pumpkin and really pretty Cinderella pumpkins, and we also have some unique ones,” she notes.
Visitors have the opportunity to search for the perfect pumpkin and pick their own.
“Last year, we were so lucky. The weather cooperated, so we didn’t have to pick a bunch of pumpkins. People got to just go out and pick their own. That’s so much fun for families. The year before, we had to pick almost everything and put them in piles in hay bales because it froze. We had to keep them covered,” she says.
This year, the patch is looking promising.
“I think this is the best year for our pumpkins since we’ve started,” Lungren states.
Over the last few weeks, the family has been working hard to have everything ready for their Sept. 12 opening day.
“We are open for about an eight-week period, with about 2.5 months of setting it up before hand,” Lungren remarks. “Other than that, we are lucky that we live on the farm and have husbands who have equipment that can do so much, so fast.”
Lungren looks forward to autumn visitors and the variety of activities available on the farm.
“It’s awesome family time and a great farm experience,” she states. “Some people don’t even have backyards big enough to run around in, so it’s fun for them. It’s so awesome just to be out here on the farm.”
Visit lungrengirlsfarm.com for hours, location and more information about the farm.
Natasha Wheeler is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.