Alumna opens annual pumpkin patch

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Visitors to the Waimanalo Pumpkin Patch can pick their own pumpkins to purchase and take home or have fun in the towering sunflower maze – Courtesy Ka‘ainoa Fernandez

For the 6th year straight, Waimanalo Country Farms, a family-run business owned by WCC alumna Shawn Kadooka and her husband Dom, is opening its Waimanalo Pumpkin Patch.

Starting Oct. 3 through Halloween, the patch will be open every weekend from 9 a.m to 5 p.m., and weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for school and group excursions.

The pumpkin patch offers country fun for the whole family with activities like pumpkin picking, hayrides, a “cow train” with a newly built train depot, a pumpkin cannon and slingshot, sunflower maze and much more.

This year, there is a new educational walk where visitors can pass through an herb tunnel and learn about the ways different vegetables like eggplant, kale and soybeans are grown.

Founded by Ronald Kadooka in 1948, Waimanalo Country Farms is a 52-acre farm with a mission of producing and growing local food for the community.

The business has been passed down through the family, with four generations currently working on the farm.

Shawn and Dom Kadooka took over the farm in 2001.

Kadooka says she’s experienced some difficult situations along the way, like the loss of half their corn and pumpkin crops this year due to weather.

It was in 2009, after five years of bad farming, that Kadooka decided to open the pumpkin patch as a way of generating more business.

“We put a sign on the road and had our first pumpkin patch,” said Kadooka. “And each year we just build on it, do a little more, a little more.”

The farm now serves approximately 20,000 people a year.

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Courtesy Ka‘ainoa Fernandez

For more information about the farm or pumpkin patch, contact Shawn Kadooka at 306-4381.

 

by Taylor Kipapa, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter