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Time to fall into a pumpkin patch
mel reagan
Melissa Reagan, co-owner of Madrac Farms, gets the fields ready for its Pumpkin Patch, which begins this weekend. - photo by Photo by Calli Arnold

Fall is a time of honoring old traditions and, around Effingham County, ushering in new ones.

Starting Saturday and every Saturday for the rest of October, Madrac Farms will host its first Pumpkin Patch — and the first of its kind in this area.

These pumpkins were grown in Effingham County and are ready to be picked right off the vine, which makes it the area’s first and only such patch.

Unlike the deep orange of the jumbo pumpkins grown in the Midwest and sold in Georgia and nationally, the pumpkins at Madrac Farms are bright, pastel shades of gold, yellow and orange.

“It’s a surprise with every seed,” said Melissa Reagan, part owner of Madrac Farms with her husband Guerry.

These Orange Bulldog pumpkins, named for the University of Georgia mascot where the particular breed was developed, also come in different shapes and sizes. Some are round and wide, some are tall and some are shaped
more like squash. They were bread specifically to withstand environmental conditions in Georgia. Reagan said they are happy and surprised at how well this batch did.

“Father (Wes) Lamb’s blessing apparently really helped,” said Reagan, referring to the St. Boniface priest’s blessing their pumpkin patch earlier this year during the Madrac Farms ribbon cutting.

There also will be other regional produce available for sale.

Reagan said that she wanted to bring a family-friendly event that celebrates agriculture, such as Midwest pumpkin and harvest festivals, to Effingham County and southeast Georgia. She hopes that the Pumpkin Patch weekends will become a tradition for families for years to come.

While the pumpkins may be Georgian, the atmosphere will be Nebraska inspired. Reagan was inspired by a pumpkin patch in Nebraska last year and has been planning the Effingham patch ever since. In addition to pumpkins, the Madrac patch will have a hay castle, where children can play in hay piles, a corn maze and a rotten tomato slingshot for all ages, as well as hayrides around the property.

Reagan said that when they were planning their event, they thought about what her girls, Madison and Rachel, like to do on the farm, hence the hay castle, and suggests sending children in play clothes and shoes.

The Madrac Farms Pumpkin Patch will be open Oct. 8, Oct. 14, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. until dusk. The patch is also available for private parties, whether a club, a Girl or Boy Scout troop or a birthday party, and group discounts will be available.

The Pumpkin Patch is located at 580 Ralph Rahn Rd. and admission is $5 for ages 11 and up. Children are admitted free with a paid adult and additional children are $3. Admission covers everything but the price of a pumpkin and produce. For more information, call Madrac Farms at (912) 704-7651, visit, or see the Madrac Farms Facebook page.