After running a popular pumpkin patch for more than 20 years, Keith and Joy Book moved out of state for a few years to work with family. When the couple made their way back to Butte County nearly 3 years ago they decided to make some changes. For many years, the main draw for Book Family Farms was pumpkins. A farm that once grew 15 acres worth, has now downsized to less than an acre. Book says they decided to shift their focus by converting to a more organic style of farming and educating visitors.
"The pumpkins are a draw for us because everybody knows us for pumpkins. So it's just a nice fit for kids to be able to come out and get a pumpkin and then we can teach them about where real food comes from," he says.
Although the couple has been back for a few years, the pumpkin patch has been absent. Book says the conditions weren't quite right and the soil needed some tending. This year was a different story.
"For us, it was an awesome growing season. We really didn't have any extreme heat and we didn't have any severe weather," says Book.
The farm will continue to offer educational tours and will open the pumpkin patch to the public on a limited basis. It is located off Highway 99 just south of Chico, and will be open from 10am-2:30pm the next 2 saturdays.