PRESS RELEASE: Thomasville, NC, September 19, 2011: Nearly three years of planning coupled with countless long hours of hard work set the stage for last Saturday’s opening day for visitors to Green Dell Farm’s 2011 Pumpkin Fest. Davidson County’s newest agritourism operation features hayrides on a tractor-drawn hay wagon from the newly constructed Hitching Post produce stand to their pumpkin patch and Outpost nature area. The farm also features a hay bale maze, corn-hole games, scavenger hunts, and a large picnic area. The business will continue operating weekends only through Sunday, October 30.
What began as a conversation at the family dinner table almost three years ago has taken on a life of its own. Co-owners Kenny and Jan Cain were fans of the TLC Network reality television show Little People: Big World which followed the lives of the Roloff family on their family farm in Portland, Oregon. While discussing one of the latest shows, they each joked about becoming “pumpkin farmers”. In December, 2008, the jokes turned to a serious conversation and thus, the planning stage began. The Cains envisioned a small, working farm where the local community could visit and purchase fresh seasonal produce during the late spring and summer. Then as fall came, enjoy hayrides and their two-plus acre pumpkin patch.
Family members and friends thought the Cains had created a viable business plan, but questioned if this was the “right time” to begin a new business venture given the floundering local economy. Plus, both Kenny and Jan had just made major career changes in 2007, each deciding to leave the corporate business world to enter the secondary public education classroom. They both began as high school teachers in their respective fields; Kenny as an Electrical Trades teacher at Ledford High School, and Jan, who now teaches Business Technologies at Brown Middle School, began as a Marketing teacher at Southern Guilford High School. Taking on an attitude of determination, the Cains decided that the economy’s rollercoaster should not stand in the way and began acquiring the equipment needed to begin farming operations.
In March, 2009, Green Dell Farm was incorporated and began producing seasonal vegetables that same summer, following with a crop of pumpkins later in the fall. Green Dell Farm sold their produce through the Lexington Farmer’s Market and by word of mouth, offering delivery of their products to local businesses. The Cains acknowledge that the first year was successful and all of the produce grown was sold. They summed up the first year of operation by stating, “God allowed the fields to bring forth what our customers demanded; never too much and never too little. It was a rewarding effort.”
The following year would not hold the same success for Green Dell Farm when it came to vegetables. With extreme heat and little rain, 2010 was a tough year for vegetable production. However the Cains continued to develop their plans and began construction of the Hitching Post produce stand in June, 2010, at their farm located off Sullivan Road just southwest of Thomasville. The produce stand was recently completed and the Green Dell Farm staff opened to the public for the first time on Saturday, September 17.
The 2011 Pumpkin Fest is designed to be an affordable family-oriented adventure, taking visitors on a mile long hayride through the woods and fields of Green Dell Farm. While there visitors are encouraged to take refuge in the wonders of nature and simple things such as rocking on the front porch, enjoying a (bring-your-own) picnic, or searching for the perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkin.