Monday Oct 10 2011
Zittel's pumpkin patch a Folsom tradition
By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
With Halloween just around the corner, pumpkins are on everyone’s mind, and for Folsom, there is only one place to visit. For 35 years Zittel Farms has been the pumpkin patch hub for Folsomites and visitors. The Zittels — Roger, 70, and Gail, 69, — bought the farmland in 1976 after moving to Folsom, and today remain one of the last working farms in Folsom. The couple has been married for 47 years, and together have two sons. “I came from a farming background,” Roger said. “This is in my blood. Vegetable farming has been in my family for seven generations.” Roger said agriculture is a big part of Folsom history and when he moved here more than 30 years ago, Folsom was nearly 95 percent farmland. “Our pumpkin patch is unique because we are geared toward young families and young children,” Roger said. “Our ultimate goal with our farm is to teach children about agriculture.” The Zittels also give tours to more than 2,000 children from local schools and preschools to teach them about agriculture. On the 3-acre Zittel Farm pumpkin patch, visitors can expect to find 15 different varieties of pumpkins, decorative squash and gourds, free hayrides, pony rides, old buggies and wagons, farm animals, a corn maze and a children’s play area. “This is my favorite time of the year,” Roger said. “I get up early and like to harvest, design and set up the pumpkin patch. My wife is the sales person.” The pumpkin patch is a hobby and passion, not a career, for the Zittels, according to Roger. He is retired now after working as the Folsom Chamber of Commerce CEO for 20 years. “My favorite part about living in Folsom is the history,” he said. “We do this as a part of giving back to our community. It’s so important to give back … we like to share life with the community.” The Zittel Farm pumpkin patch, 6781 Oak Ave, Folsom, is open through Halloween. For more information, call (916) 989-2633. * * * Zittel Farms pumpkin patch Where: 6781 Oak Ave, Folsom When: Open through Halloween Info: (916) 989-2633.