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article imageInside the Pumpkin Patch at century-old family farm in Arkansas Special

By Kay Mathews     Oct 26, 2009 in Lifestyle
The family-owned Vanzant Fruit Farms has been in business in Northwest Arkansas since 1909. Four years ago, they started the "Gourdheadholler Pumpkin Patch" event in October.
Vanzant Family Farms is famous for its home-grown apples, peaches and grapes. Since 1909, the family has been growing and selling these luscious fruits and were an earlier supplier to the Welches company.
For decades, the family sold peaches and other fresh goodies to neighbors who stopped by and bought the produce off of the Vanzant's front porch.
In the early 1980s, Fred and Kahylene "Momma" Vanzant decided to start Vanzants Market. Their granddaughter, Stephanie, told me that "everything got started in my grandpa's house, in the yard." Now the Vanzants are proud to say that "people come from all over to visit the market, even as far away as Alaska."
Stephanie Vanzant, 21, said she has been working at the market since she was fifteen. And, while the market has expanded to include locally grown honey, vegetables, jams and jellies, and many other items, Vanzant says, "Our top selling product is peaches."
The "Gourdheadholler Pumpkin Patch" event began four years ago, according to Vanzant. The Pumpkin Patch is open through the month of October.
Numerous gourds, pumpkins, hay bales and corn stalks are on display and for sale in and around the market. Families from all around come to the Pumpkin Patch to enjoy the scenery, drink samples of apple cider, and buy pumpkins and other decorations for the upcoming Halloween holiday.
Fancy Gourds at the Vanzant Pumpkin Patch
Fancy Gourds at the Vanzant Pumpkin Patch
Kay Mathews
Many folks grab an old Flexibleflyer wagon for their children to ride in while they tour the Pumpkin Patch. One family, the Hensons, were enjoying the beautiful day with their son.
Nathan, 35, and Hannah, 29, Henson brought their four-month-old son William to the Pumpkin Patch. When asked what she thought about it, Hannah said it's "amazing! There is so much for people to do."
Nathan  Hannah and William Henson Pumpkin Patch
Nathan, Hannah and William Henson at the Pumpkin Patch
Kay Mathews
Hannah said that she and her husband have lived in nearby Fayetteville, Arkansas for four years but this was the first time they visited the Pumpkin Patch. Her friend told her about it, and Hannah said, "We needed to come out with him [William]."
Vanzants Market is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located in Lowell, Arkansas on Highway 264 east. According to Stephanie Vanzant, the market opens "the second week in June and stays open until right after New Years."
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