Something fun has come to the eastern edge of the City of Oakdale, just in time for fall.
After four seasons of anticipation and planning, the young family team of Sons Farm Fresh have opened a Pumpkin Patch at their 1936 E. F St., Oakdale, location.
Siblings Madison, Jackson, Allison and Hudson Ruvalcaba spent a bit more time through the summer cultivating 20,000 varieties of pumpkin seedlings to help launch the recent addition to their family farm stand.
Now in their fourth season of operating the fruit stand, the “Sons” of Sons Farm Fresh (Madison, Jackson, Allison and Hudson) have not only extended their season of keeping the stand open, but their operating hours as well. The fruit stand is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; while the Pumpkin Patch remains open until 7 p.m.
“We wanted to do it last year but we just never, never got to it and school was starting up, so we said this year is the year to do it,” Jackson Ruvalcaba shared. “We planted over 20,000 pumpkin seeds. We have probably over 50 different varieties that we’ve harvested. The majority grown together.”
Madison and Jackson maintain the stand most days, as younger siblings Allison and Hudson have returned to school. Madison is a 2021 graduate from Master’s University. Jackson remains in college, balancing his studies with the family business.
The sibling foursome put much time and attention, as well as sweat equity, into the newly opened space, taking the east side stop from a great place to pick up produce to a destination stop for fall fun.
Situated just behind the fruit stand, visitors are treated to a quaint space filled with pumpkins of all shapes, colors and varieties, as well as niches for photo ops, games for kids and a hay maze.
Initially the space was pasture land. During the course of a month, with the help of family and close friends, trees were removed, as well as a fence.
“Oh my gosh, I look back, a few weeks ago when we started this and every single day there was one big project we had to do,” Madison shared of the transformation. “We started with taking down the fence, leveling, walnut shells, gravel hay and I just can’t even believe how much work we had to do … but it was the most rewarding.
“I’m so happy we could bring this to the community and just have something here in Oakdale for everybody,” she continued.
The content, as well as the layout is impressive for a fist year pumpkin patch, all of which was intentional. According to Madison, the four siblings held a “family meeting” and brainstormed all the things they’d like to see featured. The final cut included a “pumpkin house,” adult seating areas, play areas for children, a pumpkin carving area and an addition of vendor space. Throughout the season the “SONS” plan to host varying vendors, as well as a food truck for visitors.
Pumpkins are priced by size, which include: minis, extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and then huge jumbo ones as well.
Patrons of the fruit stand will also be happy to learn the addition of the pumpkin patch has extended the season until November.
“We get a lot of support from our community and we just love giving back and I feel like this is something we don’t have here,” Madison said of the pumpkin patch. “So being able to see kids so happy running around smiling just makes us so happy.”
And with the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22 signaling the official start of fall, it is just in time.
“I was a little bit nervous because it’s our first year,” Madison acknowledged, “but I have not been this excited in so long. It’s something we wanted to do since the first season.”
As for the originally launched summer family business, spearheaded by four siblings – it has now turned into a way of life for both Madison and Jackson.
“I’ve not graduated yet, I’m doing this full time right now,” Jackson said. “Once we close in the wintertime, then I’ll go back to school, and then do a semester there. And then, yes, because during the winter time, we start probably over 80,000 seeds, so we were still starting seeds prepping the ground getting everything ready for the season to start up again.”
“I mean even with me, I grew up always wanting to be a teacher, I wanted to teach special ed,” Madison shared. “Now I just want to be fully invested in the pumpkin patch and actually I’m having schools come out to the pumpkin patch to do field trips, so I’m able to teach them at the pumpkin patch. Things like how a pumpkin grows what it looks like inside.”
Hands-on learning, courtesy of a local fruit stand and nature’s bounty.
“So it’s kind of neat to see that I’m actually able to use my teaching that I’ve learned through the pumpkin patch,” the once aspiring teacher turned grower said. “I love doing this every day; it does not even feel like work to me, it just feels like I’m just having so much fun every day.”