The pumpkin patch began in 1988 accidentally. The vacant feedlot was overgrown with weeds.
Pumpkins were planted to “hopefully” smother the weeds.
It did not work, but the pumpkins grew and needed to be washed, loaded, hauled and unloaded in stores in Austin, Albert Lea, Blooming Prairie and La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Friend Dean Zellar asked if he could bring his grandchildren out to “Farmer John’s” to pick their pumpkin in the patch, thus the name Farmer John and the pick your own tradition was begun.