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Pumpkin patch growing


GLYNDON, Minn. - It took practice and a helping hand, but 5-year-old Erik Hanson spun a lasso just like he was taught by his cowboy hat-wearing instructor.

"This is fun to do," Erik told his parents and grandparents Friday afternoon at the Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch.

For co-owner Mike Halvorson, seeing children like Erik having fun at the Cowboy Camp is what makes his two-year-old Pumpkin Patch a success.

Halvorson greeted children at the patch's entrance, pointing out the straw bale maze, haunted forest, petting zoo, horse-drawn wagon rides and other kids' games inside.

He also reminded families of the farm's year-end sale, where pumpkins large and small sell for just $3.


"People are glad we're doing this," said Halvorson, who runs the patch on his 26-acre farm with his wife, Mindy Jo, and father, Bob, also a co-owner. "We're planning on this for the long haul."

The Halvorsons also own Alpine Carriages and give horse-drawn carriage rides around the farm.

The Pumpkin Patch, about four miles east of Glyndon on Highway 10, opened Sept. 23 and closes Oct. 29.

The patch began in 2004 after owners of the Tonneson Pumpkin Patch north of Moorhead decided to quit hosting the annual attraction. Tonneson Pumpkin Patch sold homegrown pumpkins on its acreage for 15 years.

Mike Halvorson said more than 2,000 children have visited the Pumpkin Patch this season, an increase of 600 from last year.

He attributes the increase to word of mouth advertising and good weather.

Through Friday, the average October temperature in the Fargo-Moorhead area was 50.4 degrees or 2.2 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D.

Three times this month the area has seen measurable rain for a total of 2.31 inches. About 1.76 inches fell in the F-M area on Oct. 5, the same day some western North Dakota cities recorded 15 to 24 inches of snow.


The area likely will experience its fourth day of October rain today.

The weather service forecast calls for a chance of snow before noon, with a high temperature of 39 and wind gusts up to 17 mph. There's also a 40 percent chance of precipitation this afternoon and late tonight.

Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy with a high of 45.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Joe Whetham at (701) 241-5557

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