– by Jeff Luthy and Lori (Luthy) Woods
It all started when a boy met a girl – kind of like the Collin Raye song. Our father (Laverne AKA Doc) and mother (Diana) married in 1968. Doc worked with Illinois Central Railroad and Diana was a beautician working out of their home. When the babies came – about two years apart – Mom decided to become a housewife/farmwife (which is a full-time job with plenty of overtime all in itself). Our grandfather, Herb, also farmed many acres of land and had the charm to often steal our dad away for help on the farm. We were raised in an old two-story farmhouse placed high on a hill about a mile east of Red Bud. Gradually, the town expanded and inched closer to us, but we still had (and have) the country feel. My father loved to farm and so did Mom. This made a great combination in marriage and family – as kids, we grew up knowing the value of creating with our hands.
As we grew older, our parents wanted to instill values and a work ethic like they had. “So how about starting a pumpkin patch? We have the land for it. All we have to do is scatter a few seeds…right??”
Before we knew it, we found ourselves sitting on an old two-row horse-drawn Black Hawk planter dropping pumpkin seeds by hand. Mind you, the planting season for pumpkins is the end of June. (It was great for getting a summer tan). Summer was so, so the pumpkins needed water. Watering started with an old well tank and a yard cart behind a 3-wheeler. What else would teenagers be doing on a summer night other than watering their pumpkin seeds? Well, we’re sure we could have found a few other things at the time. But it became tradition, and we loved it. Really.
As a result of our hard work, our pumpkin farm slowly gained recognition, and each year the folks who came out to browse and buy increased in number. There wasn’t a night in October that we sat down for supper at dusk and didn’t have a knock on the door asking, “…are you still open and can we buy a pumpkin?” We’ve had shoppers that buy pumpkins in the rain and the dark. We love them all! And we love the idea of something we grew sitting on someone’s doorstep, to be admired by passing neighbors.
Over the years, many things have changed. We lost our father and Mom’s dear husband in December of 1992. Mom remarried a gentleman (Don) willing to give up his Septembers and Octobers to our cause. We’re grateful to have such a good man in our mother’s – and our – lives. We have had twenty-five years of experience and technology has allowed us to plant the best seeds with high-tech equipment. We even have a Facebook page for the farm now! Somewhere between all of this we have grown up. Grown up in age, but not in values.
We allow all of our customers into our lives for one reason. To see the joy in their faces as they bring their children and grandchildren to our farm.
Fall is like a breath of fresh air. Seize the day. A family rich in farm history invites you to spend a day with ours and to focus on sharing one of those October moments.