KELLNER — As their name suggests, The Pumpkin Shed in central Wisconsin has specialized in all things pumpkin since 2004. But the farm’s history traces much further back than that.
Owned and operated by Peg Hanneman, The Pumpkin Shed has been passed down through the generations for what will be 150 years next May. The initial 80 acres were purchased by Hanneman’s great-grandparents, August and Augusta Hanneman, for $52, plus back taxes of $17, through a public auction in 1869.
Hanneman said it’s been a good year to be in the pumpkin business.
“This has been an incredible year for our farm and growing pumpkins because pumpkins can withstand the heat and drought much better than other crops,” she said. “We did, however, have to irrigate the fields twice because of the extreme drought but were able to ensure pumpkins continued to thrive.”
Hanneman said the farm has 4 acres of pumpkin patches and offers more than 20 varieties of pumpkins and eight varieties of colored squash. Some of the smallest pumpkins available for purchase are full-grown at just a few ounces, and the largest pumpkins are more than 25 pounds each.
Starting in mid-September and going through Halloween, The Pumpkin Shed offers pre-picked pumpkins, decorative squash, maple syrup, local crafts, hot peppers, farm fresh produce and more. Earlier this year, the farm was recognized as having the first-place float at the Kellner Parade.
The Pumpkin Shed is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
“Opening day always has lines of people waiting to choose their special pumpkins,” Hanneman said.
Many of the pumpkins are sold for decorative purposes, but the farm will also has pie pumpkins available, pumpkin filling for breads and smoothies, pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies, baked seeds and more.
Recently, for the first time in the farm’s history, they added 40 beef cattle and a farm bull named Bob. Bob and the rest of the herd are spoiled as any pumpkins and produce that is not sold becomes their treat, ensuring that no produce goes to waste.