Turlock’s R.A.M. Farms has experienced a high demand for pumpkins this year as companies from other parts of the country are looking at a possible shortage of the popular fall gourd.
Reports of pumpkin blight in the Midwest, weather extremes and COVID-19 related shipping delays have many questioning if there will be a pumpkin shortage in the area. According to local pumpkin grower Ron Macedo, the short answer is ‘no.’
“We’ve been having a lot of orders; it’s been a very good year. You’re talking about Turlock; this is kind of the pumpkin capital around here, so we ship all over the West Coast,” said Macedo of R.A.M. Farms.
Macedo has been filling a lot of orders lately, but isn’t aware if other brokers are experiencing a shortage. He just makes sure “Turlock isn’t going to be short.”
Ron and Karen Macedo opened R.A.M. Farms in 2007 after some pesky squirrels forced them to find a new farm. They started growing pumpkins in the back and realized if they “cleaned and dressed up” the farm a little bit they could sell more. Growing corn his whole life, Ron decided to make a corn maze for Turlock to enjoy as well. After that, they expanded into the winter season with Christmas trees and made an ice rink.
There isn’t a fee to the pumpkin patch itself and most activities are free with a purchase of a pumpkin. The corn maze returned Oct. 1 and “spook-tacular journeys” take place at dusk on Friday and Saturday nights. Visitors are asked to bring their own flashlights and must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 5 are not recommended.
It isn’t just a time for the pumpkin business, R.A.M. Farms has been getting a lot of enthusiastic visitors who are excited for the fall season.
“We’re very fortunate, people are just very happy to be outside and happy to be involved. It’s been very good for business for us. People want to celebrate, be outside and just walk around,” said Macedo. “It’s a great location here on the east side of town in a great neighborhood. It’s just a lot of fun.”
The corn maze is a newer edition to R.A.M. Farms and it has become a pretty popular attraction, said Macedo.