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Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch a popular pick

The Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch is open Friday-Sunday, September 27-October 27. Courtesy photo

Every fall, Brian Fraus turns his plot of land just east of Bertram into the Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch. And every fall, he wonders why he keeps doing it.

“I keep telling myself that last year was my last year, then this year is my last year, and, you know, next year will be my last year. But I feel like people enjoy coming out here, and I like making people happy.”

Good reason.

The Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch, 4625 Texas 29 just east of Bertram, opens Friday, September 27, and runs through October 27. Its hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.

First, despite the name, the pumpkins aren't wormy. Fraus’ main job is raising worms for gardeners and landscapers. But in the weeks leading up to Halloween, he and his family bring in pumpkins and more. He grows some of the smaller varieties, but ships in a ton of other sizes and shapes.

While pumpkins are a big draw, they're not the only thing at the patch.

One of the family favorites is the free Story Time every Friday from 10-10:30 a.m. Fraus said kids and parents can gather around while someone reads a book or two — usually one geared toward autumn, gardening, or, of course, worms. Afterward, the kids get to enjoy an arts and crafts project. The books are for ages 3-7, but everyone is invited.

“Story Time, it’s grown to become pretty popular,” Fraus said.

There are a few fee-based activities such as hayrides, pumpkin painting, feeding the farm animals (three goats, a cow, and a chicken), and the Kiddie Coral, which holds about 800 pounds of corn for kids to dig through.

But there's plenty of free fun such as Giant Jenga and Giant Connect Four.

“Oh, we also have the Hay Ground,” Fraus added.

He hauls out four or five round hay bales and a number of smaller square bales and layers the ground with hay to create a place kids can run, jump, and have a ball.

“If people like pictures, we try to set up several places that are good for taking pictures,” Fraus said.

Two particular spots are the Cinderella Patch and the Funky Pumpkin Patch. And taking photos is free.

Fraus wanted to create a place where families could have fun without breaking the bank. So, parking and admission are free as well as many of the activities.

“We’re selling pumpkins though,” he said with a laugh. “We like selling pumpkins.”

But mostly, Fraus admitted, the thing he loves the most is seeing the smiles on people’s faces.

“We don’t have a huge patch, you know, it’s small and quaint, but people seem to like that,” he added. “I see the smiles, and that’s what I love. Guess that’s why I keep doing this.”

Check out the Texas Big Worm Pumpkin Patch Facebook page for updates and more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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