By Will Fairless
Rocky Top Pumpkin Patch
The Farm at Rocky Top, located in Salem, about 15 minutes from downtown Opelika, has just opened “Rocky Top Pumpkin Patch” for the fourth year. At a venue that also does weddings and an annual Christmas celebration, the pumpkin patch is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October.
The pumpkin patch has tons of activities, including a wagon ride, an animal petting barn, inflatables, a child-size train, “Hay Bale Mountain,” duck races, tug of war, a zip line for children and giant yard games.
“Some adults think a pumpkin patch is just for kids, but we have something for all ages to do,” said Jan Lawrence, one of the owners of Rocky Top.
Among those adult activities are the Pony Express, which is racing on adult-size bouncy horses, tether ball (so popular last year that they added another) and mazes that can get the best of anyone, regardless of age.
The concessions stand offers hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ, roasted corn and loaded baked potatoes. Salem Sno Balls will be at the farm with its 20 flavors of snow cones, Triple J Farms will be selling honey from the hives on Rocky Top and Laurie’s Apples will be selling gourmet apples. Last but not least, without Opelika Farmers Market’s contributions, Rocky Top would just be a bunch of fall fun; the farmers market will make it a pumpkin patch.
“The perfect day at the patch of course is beautiful fall weather with plenty of sunshine, laughter in the air and smiles on the faces of both young and old,” Lawrence said.
Smiles might also be spotted on the faces of the Country Crows, scarecrow-type figures that can be seen all over the farm doing anything from getting married to making moonshine.
Yet another source of smiles on the farm is the pets that will be brought out by several humane societies. This year, continuing Rocky Top’s tradition of getting pets adopted during its events, the Lee County Humane Society, Macon County Humane Society, and Animal Health Center and Woof Rescue will be at the pumpkin patch with pets available for adoption.
“We are very excited to be able to offer a place where family and friends can come and enjoy the country and just spend time together. We take pride in being able to give them that,” Lawrence said.
For more information about Rocky Top, visit its website (rockytoppumpkinpatch.com).
Farmer in the Dell
Farmer in the Dell, a pumpkin patch in Auburn, grows its own pumpkins on the property, which allows visitors to cut their selections off the vine themselves.
Usually, the patch has field trips that have farm-related lessons for children, but those have been cancelled this year as a result of COVID-19.
“A perfect day at the farm in my opinion thinking as a customer and not the owner would be, my family would visit, we would have lots of time together in a relaxed environment enjoying creation and as our moto goes ‘make memories that last a lifetime’,” Marie Foshee, the owner of Farmer in the Dell, wrote in an email to the Observer.
All of the patch’s equipment will be wiped down with disinfectant, and it asks that visitors wear masks on their hayride and when standing in lines. “Other than that, we want them to feel freedom and breath in fresh air,” Foshee said.
The Farmer in the Dell is open most days in October; its full calendar and other information can be found on the patch’s website (www.auburnpumpkinpatch.com).