First Christian Church at 5230 Broadway Ave. has opened its pumpkin patch.
Each year, the church purchases pumpkins from the Navajo Nation, which has a farm near Shiprock, New Mexico.
“We help to employ the Navajo Indians and raise money for our youth group trips,” said Sue Bishop at the church.
High school youth group members will travel to Houston, Texas, next summer to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The middle school group will stay closer to home.
Youth group members help with sales and rotate hundreds of pumpkins every day or so to maintain their fresh appearance. This year the church ordered close to 1,500 pumpkins of various shapes and sizes. Prices range from 50 cent minis to $50 monsters that are perfect for carving.
There is also a nationwide photo contest open to people who purchase the pumpkins.
Sienna Cauley, one of the middle school youth group members, talked about the work they do on mission trips.
“Last year we went to the Heartland Farm and helped clean chicken coops,” she said. Heartland Farm, in rural Pawnee Rock, was created by the Dominican Sisters of Peace as a ministry committed to the care of Earth and to modeling sustainability. The middle school students who helped there last year also assisted with tending to the alpacas, and they worked building fences and hugelkultur, a German word that refers to a kind of raised compost bed. The Heartland Farm will be the recipient of many of the church’s unsold pumpkins next month, Bishop said.
Pumpkin Patch hours are 1-7 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.