By Valley Ag Voice rStaff

Susanne, Ryan, and Benjamin Russell searching for their pumpkins.

For those that wanted a break from the Covid quarantine or the wildfire smoke that has been choking out valley residents, Tehachapi was dishing up plenty of spooky organic fun and family activities. Brite Creek Farms on the Corner of Highline and Banducci rolled out their October best for families looking for organic pumpkins straight from the vine.

Brite Creek farms was born in 2018 from the vision of Jay and Hannah Shipman. Jay had started raising cattle with the help of his friend Jack Rice and they formed J and J Grassfed Beef. After they realized they could make that work and due to high customer demand selling at the farmers market, they looked for land and identified the parcel on Highline and Banducci. Once this parcel was selected they started to raise organic vegetables. According to their website, they grow “a variety of 100% organic produce: carrots, beets, lettuce, chard, cabbage, sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower and more… We also offer organic eggs and chicken, grassfed beef, handmade pasta, oils, vinegar and cookies.”

This year families visiting Brite Creek Farms were greeted by Hannah and Jay welcoming them for a visit. For the month of October, they were offering hayrides, and visitors could shop in the store on site. The store by the way is a great concept with an airstream trailer on site that has been decorated to look like a small country oasis.

“This is our third summer growing pumpkins, but really our second year giving people a chance to come out and cut them. Our intent was to have people come out and pick the pumpkins. We wanted people to come out and see other things we do on the farm. We felt that with families coming out it was something else they could do on a Saturday,” commented Jay Shipman.

For many families the highlight of the trip was walking out to the rows of pumpkins laid out by Jay and Hannah. There were a few different varietals of pumpkins, so this gave families and children the ability to pick the perfect pumpkin!

“In today’s commercialized society where everything is mass produced the ability to go out and cut your own pumpkin was truly unique,” commented Russell Johnson whose family was visiting Brite Creek Farms. “My wife and kids have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of picking out our own pumpkins.”

Russell’s youngest, three-year-old Ryan Johnson, was in pumpkin heaven as he looked intently for his own pumpkin. Once he found it, he proudly exclaimed, “My pumpkin!”

“Despite the light wind, this experience was exactly why we came to Brite Creek Farms. You can’t cut your own pumpkin at a regular pumpkin patch,” added Susanne Johnson.

Jay Shipman added, “The first year we had three small rows, then six or seven. This year we have fifteen. Next year we may plant twenty-five or thirty rows. We may start earlier next year to have pumpkins for four to six Saturdays instead of two or three. We want people to come to the farm have the experience of seeing how their food is grown and then cut their own pumpkin.”

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