By Kyla Fleming
Steve Walker describes his pumpkin patch, Autumn Chase Farms, as both a “family operation” and a “family oriented experience.” He opens the pumpkin patch to visitors for three weekends in October with the help of his wife, Beverly, their daughters and sons-in-law, and their two granddaughters.
Autumn Chase Farm is in its third year of operation at 820 Old Highway 52 in Lafayette. But the farm offers much more than just a pumpkin patch. There are bouncy houses, a corn pit, and live animals among other things. Walker says the most popular attraction, though, is the hay tunnel and slide that comes out the back of the barn. “They’ll do that just until they wear out.” He laughs.
Though he admits most of the attractions are for younger visitors, he and his family want the adults to have fun, too. “We encourage the adults to get a pumpkin too… We want to make it a family oriented experience…. That’s sort of the purpose of this whole thing… We just enjoy the families coming. I love seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing them laugh.”
The idea for Autumn Chase farm came after Walker and his family visited other pumpkin patches and attractions in surrounding areas. “It was kind of experimental,” he explains. “We’ve always enjoyed children. Our two girls are grown up and we had the farm here to have animals for them to show…” Walker, who worked for the University of Tennessee Ag Extension and 4-H says he worked with children his entire career and wanted to create something local, and more affordable, for children to visit. “We came back and sort of put together some dreams… this is what you’re seeing,” he adds. “We just enjoy having people here, especially the kids.”
Though the activities will close October 23rd, the farm will be selling pumpkins all the way up until Halloween. In addition to the pumpkin patch in October, Autumn Chase Farm is available to book for weddings, birthday parties, and other activities year round. Anyone interested in booking for a celebration can contact Walker at 615-666-6363 or 615-888-6167. The farm is also on Facebook at “Autumn Chase Farms.”
The farm is open from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M. on Saturdays and from 2 P.M. until 4 P.M. on Sundays, or to groups throughout the week by appointment.
Reach Kayla Fleming at 615-666-2440.