Pumpkins, ponies pair up in Humboldt

HUMBOLDT – Kids and adults alike can celebrate fall on a traditional working farm at the eighth annual Pumpkins and Ponies event, run by Bob and Lonnie Larson at Spring Vale Farm.

Cowboy poetry will be the newest addition to the traditional events this year.

“We have a cowboy poet and storyteller, coming over from Kingsley, Iowa -Rich Krosh,” said Lonnie Larson.

Krosh will entertain with poems and stories, and also bring some of his books.

Families can check out the Larsons’ 1-acre pumpkin patch overlooking the Des Moines River Valley. Horse-drawn wagons and antique tractors will help transport people.

There will also be a tractor and animal display, face painting and live music by Von Ketelsen.

A few vendors will offer baked goods, honey, jams and other farm items for sale, and the Badger Lutheran Church’s youth group will offer lunch as a fundraiser for one of their projects, Riverside Horse Bible Camp, near Dayton.

And of course, ponies will be giving free rides the whole time.

“They’re very popular, there’s always quite a line waiting for a pony ride,” Larson said.

The “Bits and Bridals” 4-H Club takes charge of the pony rides as a community service project, she added.

Kelly Reynolds and her dancing horse, El Gato, will return for the second time this year, bringing trick rider Jadan Castorena with them.

He will demonstrate movements like the side fender, back bend, handstand and the suicide drag, as well as Roman Riding – riding while standing.

“Little by little it has grown each year, not only in attendance but in the things that are here for people to enjoy,” said Larson.

The whole point, she said, is “to create an atmosphere and provide opportunities for families to come out to a working farm and see, experience, and enjoy various activities they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.

“Even though we are in the midst many other working farms, the modern traditional farm is normally an operation of raising corn and beans,” she added. “And here on the farm, they can see those things, but they can also go to our pumpkin patch, see some farm animals up close, and spend time on a farmstead, see what it’s like.”

She said with a name like “Pumpkins and Ponies,” sometimes people get the mistaken impression that this is an event for young children.

“But it is truly does have something that all ages can enjoy,” she said. “We hope to see Moms and Dads, Grandpas and Grandmas, friends and neighbors with their families making some memories and enjoying a good day on the farm.”