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Pumpkin mania

Obion County native Alan Shirley turns agritourism dream into a reality
Story by: Alaina Staggs; photos by: Hannah Nave 9/30/2019

 

This fall, families from West Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky will visit The Pumpkin Barn, operated by Alan Shirley. Throughout October, the agritourism farm in Obion County offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities for the perfect fall evening.
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Farming runs in the veins of many a West Tennessean, but for Obion native Alan Shirley, the vocation has always been a true passion.

Alan lives on the longtime family farm, with an operation of 80 head of cattle, a small feed lot, and a hay crop that consists of alfalfa, wheat, and straw. However, there is another aspect of the farm that is closest to the 69-year old’s heart: The Pumpkin Barn.

The Pumpkin Barn is a seasonal agritourism venue, mere minutes from Reelfoot Lake, that sits on 20 acres of land. Nestled into the far northwest corner of Tennessee, the attraction draws customers from Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky each season. With 30 years of operation under his belt, Alan is proud of what a small pumpkin patch has evolved into.

The idea for the pumpkin patch began when his children were young. They grew pumpkin crops as part of their 4-H and FFA projects and sold them from the front yard and at the Reelfoot Lake Arts and Crafts Center.

It was during these visits to the center each fall that Alan heard about larger agritourism venues north of Tennessee. He eventually attended a traveling bus tour in the ‘80s throughout the northeastern United States, making stops in places such as Michigan and Wisconsin to visit the budding agritourism operations there. He was amazed at the things he saw, relating that “you just don’t see that many people down south.”

It was then that he decided to do something special.

“Every agritourism operation needs a niche,” he says. “Mine is exotic animals.”

Alan has operated a USDA-certified

zoo exhibit fueled by feeds purchased at Obion Farmers Cooperative for more than 15 years. The farm hosts exotic cattle breeds, water buffalo, zebu, camels, and zedonks, a zebra-donkey hybrid. Several breeds of monkeys also make their home there, along with a variety of traditional farm animals. A gift shop is available on site where fall décor and pumpkins can be purchased.

While Alan no longer grows his own pumpkins, all of the pumpkins the operation sells are raised in Obion County.

“Without the help of this community, none of this would be possible,” says Alan. “This is a community operation that builds memories.”

The Pumpkin Barn, LLC, a member of Pick TN Products, will be open from Sept. 20-Oct. 31. Hours are 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Following is a list of Tennessee agritourism destinations we were aware of as of press time. Most are open through the end of October, but we suggest you call ahead or check websites or Facebook pages for specific dates and hours of operation.

East

Adventure Ranch

7464 West Andrew Johnson Hwy., Morristown

865-282-3516

adventureranch.com

Facebook: @GreatSmokyFarm

Autumn Acres

1096 Baier Rd., Crossville

931-210-7655

autumnacres.net

Facebook: @AutumnAcresCornMaze

Ballinger Farm Crazy Maze

2738 Renfro Rd., Jefferson City

865-475-7513

ballingerfarm.com

Facebook: @BallingerFarm

Beck Mountain Corn Maze &

Entertainment Barn

110 Corn Maze Ln., Elizabethton

423-747-1190

beckmountaincornmaze.com

Facebook: @BeckMountainCornMaze

Cleek Farms

2233 Cleek Rd., Kingsport

423-765-3123

cleekfarms.com

Facebook: @CleekFarmsCornMaze

Deep Well Farm

9567 Hwy. 11 East, Lenoir City

865-816-2131

deepwellfarm.com

Facebook: @DeepWellFarm

Echo Valley Farms

915 Bethel Church Rd., Jefferson City

865-591-7343

echovalleycornmaze.com

Facebook: @EchoValleyFarmTN

Edwards Amazing Acres

1139 Ernest Norris Rd., Jamestown

931-260-7489

Facebook: @EdwardsAmazingAcres

Fender’s Farm

254 Hwy. 107, Jonesborough

423-753-4469

Facebook: @FendersFarm

Guthrie Farm

490 County Rd. 67, Riceville

423-650-2939

tnpumpkinfarm.com

Facebook: @TNPumpkinFarm

Hyde Farms

7545 Hwy. 411 South, Greenback

423-667-6981

Facebook: HydeFarmsGreenback

Kyker Farms

938 Alder Branch Rd., Sevierville

865-679-4848

kykerfarmscornmaze.com

Facebook: @KykerFarmsCornMaze

Laurels Pumpkin Barn

303 Laurels Rd., Johnson City

laurelspumpkinbarn.com

Facebook: @LaurelsPumpkinBarn

Maple Lane Farms

1126 Maple Ln., Greenback

865-856-3517

tnmaplelanefarms.com

Facebook: @TNMapleLaneFarms

McMillan Farms

495 McMillan Rd., Mosheim

423-823-2867

Myers Pumpkin Patch &

Corn Maze/ Myers Greenhouse

3415 Gap Creek Rd., Bulls Gap

423-235-4796

Oakes Farm

8240 Corryton Rd., Corryton

865-688-6200

oakesfarm.com

Facebook: @OakesFarm

Old McDonald’s Farm

16705 Coulterville Rd., Sale Creek

423-531-2676

oldmcdonaldsfarm.net

Facebook: @McDonaldFarmTN

The River Maze

1371 Hwy. 64, Ocoee

423-650-7222

therivermaze.com

Facebook: @TheRiverMaze

The Stickley Farm, LLC

550 Beaver Creek Rd., Bluff City

423-360-4809

thestickleyfarm.com

Facebook: @StickleyFarm

Middle

Amazin’ Acres of Fun

2857 Old Kentucky Rd., Sparta

931-761-2971

amazinacres.com

Facebook: @AmazinAcresOfFun

Bottom View Farm

185 Wilkerson Lane, Portland

615-325-7017

bottomviewfarm.com

Facebook: @BottomViewFarm

Boyd’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

1425 Hwy. 76, Clarksville

931-216-8250

boydspumpkinpatch.com

Facebook: @BoydsPumpkinPatch

Bradley Kountry Acres & Greenhouse

650 Jake Link Rd., Cottontown

615-325-2836

bradleykountryacres.com

Facebook: @BradleyKountryAcres

Brown Farms

7231 Cainsville Pike, Lascassas

615-962-5715

Facebook: @BrownFarms

Cedarwood Farms

2900 Old Nashville Hwy., McMinnville

931-939-3960

cedarwoodfarmstn.com

Facebook: @CedarWoodFarms

Gentry’s Farm

1974 New Hwy. 96 West, Franklin

615-794-4368

gentryfarm.com

Facebook: @GentryFarm

Grandaddy’s Farm

454 Highland Ridge Rd., Estill Springs

931-327-4080

grandaddysfarm.com

Facebook: @GrandaddysFarm

Holiday Acres Farm

346 Campbellsville Hwy., Ethridge

931-829-2660

holidayacresfarm.com

Facebook: @HolidayAcresFarmTN

Honeysuckle Hill Farm

1765 Martins Chapel

Church Rd., Springfield

615-382-7593

honeysucklehillfarm.com

Facebook: @HoneysuckleHillFarm

Keller’s Corny Country

542 Fire Tower Rd., Dickson

615-441-4872

kellerscornycountry.com

Facebook: @Kellers.Country.Events

Limoland

8076 Columbia Hwy., Pulaski

931-363-5744

limolandfarm.com

Facebook: @LimoLand

Lucky Ladd Farms

4374 Rocky Glade Rd., Eagleville

615-274-3786

luckyladdfarms.com

Facebook: @LuckyLaddFarms

Lyon Family Farms

130 Bellview Rd., Taft

931-438-9938

lyonfamilyfarms.com

Facebook: @LyonFamilyFarms

Pumpkin Hill

861 Benders Ferry Rd., Mt. Juliet

615-758-5364

pumpkinhilltn.com

Facebook: @PumpkinHill

Ring Farm

2628 Greens Mill Rd., Columbia

931-486-2395

ringfarm.com

Facebook: @RingFarm

Shuckles Corn Maze at Fiddle Dee Farms

7526 Swift Rd., Greenbrier

615-669-6293

fiddledeefarm.com

Facebook: @FiddleDeeFarms

Walden Pumpkin Farm

8653 Rocky Fork Rd., Smyrna

615-220-2918

waldenfarm.biz

Facebook: @WaldenPumpkinFarm

White’s Family Farm

4853 Jones Roe Rd., Springfield

615-585-4331

whitesfamilyfarm.org

Facebook: @WhitesFamilyFarm

The Wilson Family Farm

4809 Byrd Lane, College Grove

615-587-2676

thewilsonfamilyfarm.com

Facebook: @WilsonFamilyFarm1

West

Donnell Century Farm Adventure

3720 Hwy. 70 East, Jackson

731-424-4526

donnellcenturyfarm.com

Facebook: @DonnellCenturyFarm

Falcon Ridge Farm

22630 Hwy. 18 North, Toone

731-658-5200

farmatfalconridge.com

Facebook: @FalconRidgeFarm.Net

Holt Family Farms

461 Jewell Store Rd., Dresden

731-364-3459

holtfamilyfarms.com

Facebook: @HoltFamilyFarms

Jones Corn Maze & Market

6850 Singleton Parkway, Millington

901-873-3150

jonesorchard.com

Facebook: @JonesOrchard

Mid-South Maze at Agricenter International

7777 Walnut Grove Rd., Memphis

901-870-6338

midsouthmaze.com

Facebook: @TheMidSouthMaze

Nanney Farms Pumpkin Patch

1767 Sharon Rd., Sharon

731-514-2431

Facebook: @NanneyPumpkinPatch

Rushing Pumpkin Patch

6105 Roby Rd., Enville

731-549-6053

Facebook: @RushingPumpkinPatch

Shirley’s Farm Pumpkin Barn

2557 South Bluff Rd., Obion

731-264-5316

Facebook: @ThePumpkinBarnLLC

Todd Family Fun Farm

101 Tom Austin Rd., Dyer

731-643-6720

toddfamilyfunfarm.com

Facebook: @ToddFamilyFunFarm

Tom’s Farm

1665 Murrell Rd., Rossville

901-853-0997

Facebook: @PumpkinPatch.Fall

Wallace Farms

1140 Douglas Rd., Lexington

731-614-8625

Facebook: @WallaceBerryFarm



 
 
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