The Wickham family has been growing pumpkins in Penfield for more than 25 years.
Bill Wickham began growing pumpkins at the age of eight, when he started growing and selling pumpkins at his family's farm in Flint, New York. After he and his wife, Debbie, graduated from Cornell University, they began growing and selling pumpkins in the Rochester area. In the 1980s and 1990s, you may have seen their red carts at u-pick pumpkin patches in Penfield, Webster, Fairport, Victor and Stanley. On weekends, the family would serve customers in the field, but on weekdays the honor system was used, and customers would leave their payment in the cash box on the cart.
Since then, we’ve concentrated our efforts on our current site on Route 250 in Penfield. Here are some milestones that has made our family farm one of Rochester’s top places to take the kids, according to annual surveys by KidsOutAndAbout.com.
2002: We started growing our corn maze. We also started offering field trips to school children. Back then, the field trips were held in a tent, and the children sat on straw bales. Bill Wickham says that giving school children a taste of farm life and showing them that vegetables come from farms, not grocery stores, has been among the most rewarding experiences of running Wickham Farms.
2004: We built our red barn, which was then used for field trips, storage, and an office. Family-friendly hayrides around the pumpkin patch were started.
2005: The red barn became an ice cream shop and gift shop. An 18-hole miniature golf course was added.
2007: We added a small kitchen, and started preparing casual meals for visitors.
2008: Chickens came to visit in the fall. They were so well liked by visitors and farmers, it was decided that they'd become a permanent attraction. We later added a couple of goats and a rabbit.
2009: We added a greenhouse for our expanding plant business and a jumping pillow for our expanding fun business!
2010: We added our "Cornfield of Dreams" batting cages.
2012: We purchased property on Sweets Corners Road in Penfield, where we grew vegetables for our first community supported agriculture (CSA) harvest share program. The CSA program has grown every year since then.
2013: We installed a permanent kiddy train ride.
2014: We built a second barn to accommodate birthday parties and CSA farm share distribution. We also planted apple trees for u-pick apple picking.
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