Even something as simple as a family pumpkin patch can blossom into a valuable learning and giving lesson for bright young minds.
For the last few years people passing through Beaver Falls may have noticed two young ladies and a wagon filled with orange, yellow and green gourds – varieties of Cucurbita pepo, a cultivar of the squash plant, otherwise known as pumpkin.
Selling pumpkins and squash varietals from the Wyatt family garden has become a fun way for Alexis and Jasmine Wyatt to chat with neighbours and friends, and at the same time, earn a bump of cash for their piggy banks.
Growing and vending pumpkins first began as a homeschool-type project back in September 2014 when summer break extended to the end of the month.
“We have two big gardens that we plant pumpkins and all sorts of things,” explained the girls’ mother, Brenda Wyatt. “The one year we really started doing it with the girls was the year the teachers were on strike, the first three weeks of September.
Jasmine and Alexis on their pumpkin wagon
“We were doing doing school work at home and the girls started selling pumpkins so they could do a little bit of math,” she added. “Since we are right on the highway we fill up my husband’s big trailer and drive it to the bottom of the driveway and sell from there.”
Both girls admit they aren’t fans of weeding the patch and they wrinkled their noses at Brenda’s big patch of broccoli still growing nearby.
But what the budding entrepreneurs do enjoy about the business, beside mom’s pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, is talking with customers and earning their own money for fun stuff, like toys.
“This is their big spending money for the year,” Brenda shared. “We have repeat customers and some of their friends know about it from school and they stop by, and some older retired people stop by every year when they see us out there.”
On top of that, the pumpkins are a great lesson in goodwill.
The family donates their bounty to a local nursery school and this year, to the Village of Montrose for their annual community Halloween Bash.
“We are always willing to do that as well,” Brenda added.