The Pumpkin Patch at First Congregational Church in Auburn is more than an annual fundraiser.  Since the first event in 2007, the Pumpkin Patch has become an Auburn tradition for many families.

Sitting at the busy intersection of Church St. and Central St., it’s hard to miss the striking scene: Bright orange pumpkins sitting among fallen leaves and maple trees in fall foliage, all against the backdrop of First Congregational’s classic New England white-steepled church.

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Rev. Brian Grover came to First Congregational in 2011 so wasn’t a part of those early Pumpkin Patches.  “This year we are receiving a full tractor trailer load to start”  he said.  We’ll get more if it looks like we need them.  This is a far cry from the relatively small truckload sold back in 2007.

The pumpkins are purchased from New Mexico, where the pumpkins are grown on reservations.  So the sale benefits First Congregational Church programs as well as the Native tribes in New Mexico.

For area residents, there is a certain allure to buying pumpkins from First Congregational, where the proceeds go toward supporting the church and its work in the local and global community.  Sure, marching through a muddy field in search of that perfect $32 pumpkin has some appeal.  But it just can’t compare to wandering around the idyllic church yard, under an azure October sky, while youngsters jump in leaf piles and struggle with pumpkins twice their size.

The Pumpkin Patch opens for business October 5th, and runs through October 31st.  Daily hours are from 10am to 6pm.

As an added bonus, Rev. Grover is conducting a walk-up pet blessing from about 11am to 2pm on October 12, the second Saturday of the Pumpkin Patch.