MAUPIN — Don Kruger was supposed to retire.
For more than 20 years, he planted acres and acres of pumpkins on and hosted thousands of visitors to his Sauvie Island farm outside of Portland. He retired and sold Kruger’s Farm in 2020 and bought a small farm outside of Maupin, near Pine Grove, located at 78974 Back Walters Road. He named his new farm Farmer Don’s Back Walters Farm.
Since he loves growing pumpkins, last year he planted a ¾ acre crop and opened the region’s only pumpkin patch. This year, he’s planted even more varieties and a free mini corn maze that you walk through to get to the pumpkins.
“I love growing pumpkins because every field is an adventure,” said Kruger. “My pumpkins are bigger than ever and the field itself is just beautiful.
“This year, we’ve added a mini corn maze that you walk through to get to the pumpkin field. So, gathering pumpkins is an adventure.”
Beginning Saturday Sept. 24, Back Walter Farm will open its u-pick pumpkin patch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 31, or until they sell out. For complete information, visit the website at www.backwaltersfarm.com.
Visit the farm on Saturday, Oct. 1 and celebrate fall. Bring a picnic or buy food from the grill. Local favorite the Smock Dogs plays from 1-3 p.m., followed by Ashleigh Flynn and the Riveters from 4-6 p.m. (www.ashleighflynnandtheriveters.com). Admission is $20 per car ($15 per car pre-sale, ends Sept. 30) and includes the music as well as a $5 coupon for pumpkins or farm produce. Attendees will be charged for beer, food and treats. More information is available on the website www.backwaltersfarm.com.