Pick Your Own Cream of the Crop at Farmer Doug’s Pumpkin Patch

The Hoffbauer Farm is located at 3361 Lindahl Road in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Farmers battled against a dry growing season in the Northland, but it didn’t stop one local farm from producing a good quality yield of pumpkins this fall.

“We know that sooner or later the frost is going to come for keeps,” said Doug Hoffbauer, owner of Hoffbauer Tree Farm.

At Farmer Doug’s farm, Mother Nature gets the final say during the great fall harvest.

“We’re really lucky and blessed we were able to get through this last cold weather spell without any damage,” said Hoffbauer.

Right now you’ll find family, friends, and neighbors strolling through a sea of orange gourds.

“Since all of our normal fall festivals have been canceled this year, we’ve ramped things up here at the farm where we can have people come and pick their pumpkin out of the patch,” said Hoffbauer.

Old fashioned family fun is taking center stage as many look to get outdoors amid a year full of social distancing.

“We sell them now because by the time we get to Oct. 1 we’re usually getting a pretty heavy freeze and pumpkins still out in the field will turn to mush and be junk,” said Hoffbauer.

This year the Hoffbauer family is helping provide scientific research with the cream of their crop.

“We did a trial with the University of Minnesota where we looked at five varieties of pumpkins. We’re looking for something early enough to make it here that would give us a 40-pound pumpkin and have good disease resistance,” said Hoffbauer.

But with science set aside, Doug depends on dozens of smiles to help him get through the next two seasons.

“I just like to see a kid smile, and to me, it’s important for that to happen,” said Hoffbauer.

Whether you’re close, or far away, families such as the Romano’s from Hermantown are happy to make lasting memories as autumn awakens.

“It’s only about a mile from our house,” said Margaret Romano, a resident of Hermantown. “We hope to decorate them and then have a couple of smaller ones to make pumpkin pie with.”

From tasty traditions to life lessons, spending a day at the farm yields success for those eager to learn.

“I think my kids enjoy it more when they know where it comes from and how it grows, and then they appreciate it more as well,” said Romano.

“Our goal is to make our farm your farm, so if you want to come out here and see what we do and how we do it, you can take a little walk around here and look at the different things,” said Hoffbauer.

Farmer Doug is happy to share his 40-plus years of knowledge with customers, creating excitement in the wild world of agriculture.

“Kids today don’t have a direct connection to the farm very often like they did when I was a kid,” said Hoffbauer.

If you’d like to pick your pumpkin at Farmer Doug’s, you still have two weekends to do so.

They’re open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. through Sept. 27.

If fall isn’t your season, the Hoffbauers have plenty of fresh trees ready to be cut during the holiday season.

The Hoffbauer Farm is located at 3361 Lindahl Road, Duluth, Minnesota, 55810.

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