North Bay pumpkin patch and corn maze opens for 30th year, hopes for rebound after 2021 flooding

ByCornell W. Barnard via KGO logo
Monday, September 26, 2022
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Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze has reopened for the season, one year after heavy rains and flooding forced it to close before Halloween.

PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, a popular pumpkin patch and corn maze is reopening for the season, one year after heavy rains and flooding forced it to close long before Halloween.

Fall pumpkin season is here and the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch is back.

"We were the first people to come this year, we love it we come every year," said Brittney Krebs.

Last year wasn't the best season for the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Owner and farmer Jim Groverman says the proof is written on the wall of his utility shed.

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"This is the high-water mark right here, October 24," Groverman said.

That was the day an atmospheric river dumped record amounts of rain across the Bay Area, leaving Jim's 15-acre property looking more like a lake. The only way to get around was by kayak.

"I learned that pumpkins float pretty well, everything was underwater, two to three feet of water," Groverman said.

Jim had to close business down early, during his busiest time, the week before Halloween.

"That's the way farming is, sometimes you have good years, sometimes you have bad years," Groverman added.

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So far, 2022 is looking up just like the four-acre corn maze. The corn is as high as an elephant's eye.

All the rain last year likely made the corn maze thicker, taller and more confusing, so finding your way out is no joke.

"It was really rough but we ended up coming back to the entrance because we were going in circles," said Brooke Parry.

The maze and pumpkin patch is celebrating its 30th year.

"We are here to support this small farm and have family time as well," said one visitor.

For Jim Groverman, it's a family business, making memories for new generations of visitors, rain or shine.

"I'm at the point right now, people are coming back and they're saying my parents brought me here as a kid, now here's my kids, pretty rewarding," said Groverman.

The Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze is open everyday through Halloween. It's located at 450 Stony Point Road in Petaluma.

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