Cherry Crest Adventure Farm and Oregon Dairy are hosting a variety of activities this summer - and offering kids and families plenty of reasons to look forward to a fun fall season. Stop by Oregon Dairy for its Family Farm Days event or visit Cherry Crest Adventure Farm this summer to enjoy farm-themed activities, delicious treats and educational opportunities for the whole family. While you’re visiting, pick up free pumpkin seeds, courtesy of the Rohrer Seeds company, in preparation for the homegrown pumpkin contests being held at Oregon Dairy and Cherry Crest this fall in conjunction with Lancaster County Ag Week.
Oregon Dairy’s Family Farm Days celebration takes place June 14-16, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, at 2900 Oregon Pike, Lititz. A tradition of more than 30 years, this community event offers free family activities such as tractor and wagon rides, tours of the dairy barn and milking facility, samples of Oregon Dairy chocolate milk and ice cream, farm equipment displays and educational exhibits and games sponsored by local agricultural organizations. Kids can explore the straw tunnels, watch “Barnyard Theatre” presentations and go on a scavenger hunt organized by the 4-H Club. Other activities and items available for purchase include garden tractor barrel rides, pedal tractor rides, snacks, beverages and a chicken barbecue dinner, served on the deck daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For complete event details, visit OregonDairy.com.
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, 150 Cherry Hill Road in Ronks, is welcoming families for the summer season on Saturdays in June and Tuesdays through Saturdays during July and August; their fall season will begin in September and October, with a Thursday through Saturday schedule. Cherry Crest offers 50 farm-themed activities for kids and families, including Discovery Barn exhibits, farm tour wagon rides, interactive Farm Experience activities and opportunities to meet the farm’s animal residents. On July 2, Cherry Crest’s Amazing Maize Maze, a five-acre corn maze filled with fun learning stations and activities, will be opened for the summer-fall season. There are also daily games and rides galore including the giant hay chute slide, straw bale racer, giant jump pillows, pedal karts and more. Enjoy Cherry Crest’s famous kettle corn, fresh-squeezed lemonade and a variety of dining options at the Barnyard and Chuck Wagon Cafés. For ticket information and a calendar of Cherry Crest’s seasonal hours and activities, visit CherryCrestFarm.com.
To participate in the fall pumpkin contests, families can pick up their free pumpkin seeds and contest forms at Oregon Dairy Family Farm Days or Cherry Crest Adventure Farm this summer. Seeds will also be available from the source, Rohrer Seeds, at its retail location, 2472 Old Philadephia Pike, Smoketown, Pa.
Rohrer Seeds has donated 8,000 packets of their “Big Max” pumpkin seeds in honor of the 2016 Lancaster County Ag Week, to provide families with an opportunity to grow their own pumpkins and join in the celebration of Lancaster County’s rich agricultural heritage. Rohrer Seeds is a fourth-generation family business that has been providing high quality seeds since 1919 to home gardeners, wholesalers and the agricultural industry. Today, its retail location, mail order catalog and the RohrerSeeds.com online store offer hundreds of varieties of vegetables, flowers, turfgrass, farm crops and wildlife plantings, including many heirloom and organic seeds. The company’s “Big Max” heirloom seed variety distributed for the fall homegrown pumpkin contests can produce a pumpkin larger than 100 pounds, if all but one of the fruits are removed from the vine.
In October, pumpkin gardeners will have two opportunities to compete for prizes with their produce. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm will hold a pumpkin decorating contest on Oct. 15, held in conjunction with Lancaster County Ag Week, Oct. 9-15. Visitors can come for a fun-filled fall day at Cherry Crest and the Amazing Maize Maze, and bring their homegrown pumpkin to decorate for the contest. A cash prize of $250 will be awarded for the best-dressed pumpkin, with a $100 second-place and $50 third-place prize for the runners-up.
Oregon Dairy will also hold a pumpkin chucking contest on Oct. 29. A $250 grand prize, $100 second prize and $50 third prize will be awarded for pumpkins launched from Oregon Dairy’s “Punkin Chuck’r” that land closest to the target. While visiting this fall, families can take part in Oregon Dairy’s Kids Pumpkin Pickin’ Days activities, which include the Oregon Dairy Corn Maze, pumpkin patch wagon rides, replica cow milking, pedal tractor rides, a straw tunnel and bean bag toss games.
For a full Lancaster County Ag Week schedule and complete pumpkin contest details, visit LancasterCountyAgWeek.com.