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Small Business Spotlight: Walker Farm

Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we visit Walker Farm near Logan. 

Pumpkins and mums and corn shocks, oh my!

These are a few of the things you’ll find at Walker Farm right now but there’s so much more to know about this family farm that has now been helping celebrate the Autumn season for generations.

Each fall, Walker Farm welcomes visitors who come in droves to pick their own pumpkins, take a free wagon ride and find their way through a corn maze. It’s tradition for many and a festive discovery for first timers.

John and Karen Walker have been married 57 years and have lived on this Hocking County farm since 1977 when they built a home on the property. John’s grandfather purchased the farm in 1909 so his roots run deep on this land which he has loved and tended for a lifetime.

“As far as the pumpkins are concerned, we started out small and have grown and grown. It’s family tradition for us as much as it is for the families that come here to visit,” John explained.

The farm is a year round team effort and family affair that involves their grown children, son Ryan and daughter Shauna. Their grandchildren and hired workers also pitch in to keep things running as John and Karen admit they are slowing down some with age. Karen credits all those who have helped make them successful. “We’ve had a lot of help over the years. We couldn’t do it without our kids. We’ve also had help from young people who we have come to view as our grandkids. They grow up and move on but we never forget them and I don’t think they ever forget us,” she said. “We are grateful for them all.”

The business actually started when Ryan grew pumpkins as an FFA project in 1983. In the early days, they would just put some pumpkins in the front yard for passersby to stop and buy. It gradually grew into a grander scale with more products to purchase. Now longtime visitors who came as kids are bringing their own children and sometimes their grandkids too.

They offer pumpkins for sale as well as the pick your own experience in the patch. There is no fee for parking or for the weekend hay rides. There is a fee for purchasing pumpkins and for the corn maze experience.

John explained the philosophy behind their work. “We keep it simple and down on the farm. When they come, they’ll find out we aren’t fancy. You can get a wagon and head out into the field to pick your pumpkins. On the weekends, we’ll take them on a hayride and they’re welcome to just walk through the pumpkin patch,” he said.

For the last twenty years they have welcomed school groups too. “It’s a lot of fun having the little ones around and seeing them see this place for the first time. They’re really cute,” Karen explained.

In addition to pumpkins, Walker Farm sells mums, Indian corn, gourds and corn shucks that are perfect for fall decorating. Incidentally, for the last two years, the Walkers have also grown a sunflower field for visitors to enjoy in the late summer. Find them on Facebook and visit their farm at 28800 Chieftain Drive. The pumpkin patch is now open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through the end of October.

Visit on October 8, 2022 to make a donation and enjoy beans cooked over an open fire. They will host a Lighted Pumpkin Walk September 30-October 1. Check Facebook for details on those events too!

Maybe it’s because they have been married for so long but the couple have a tendency to finish each other’s sentences. This is exactly what they did when it was noted that they seem quite happy with the life they have made for themselves. “We have been through a lot but the Good Lord has blessed us with this farm and family and good health. We are very blessed and we thank him every day,” they said.

 

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