Helena Hollow preps for pumpkin patch

Published 4:06 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

HELENA – The Patch at Helena Hollow is set to officially return on Sunday, Oct. 1.

“Sunday will be our first day of the season,” said Amy Griffin, co-owner of Helena Hollow.   “And then we are open every Friday, three to six. Saturday and Sunday, 10 to six for the entire month of October.”

Helena Hollow’s pumpkin patch offers many activities for potential visitors, including a smattering of food trucks and a 100-foot inflatable slide. 

“Just some things that are a bit different than what you might find in your old-fashioned or traditional pumpkin patch,” Griffin said. “I think that is the adventure kids are seeking.”

The first pumpkin patch was back in 2017, and Griffin notes that their business has quadrupled since then. 

“I think that people make it a yearly tradition to come just to get photos,” Griffin said. “It’s really cool to see how your family has changed from year to year.”

Interestingly enough, Helena Hollow does not grow many of the pumpkins they sell or have on display. Many are unaware that pumpkins cultivated in Alabama do not usually grow large enough to be used in traditional fall festivities. At Helena Hollow, they are typically imported from Michigan.

“A lot of people don’t realize that pumpkins do not like heat and humidity,” Griffin said.

Pumpkins that grow in Alabama typically bloom quickly and turn out small and stunted. That said, Helena Hollow still has some pumpkins that grow wild on their farm, and they have learned how to use them.

“Anybody who’s ever thrown a rotten pumpkin out in their yard probably winds up finding a new vine popping up in a few months,” Griffin said. “We do have some that just grow naturally in certain areas of the farm because of that. We’ve partnered with Oversoul Brewing a few times to make them into a pumpkin beer.”

Helena Hollow’s pumpkin patch will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout October. Tickets can be purchased online at Helenahollow.ticketspice.com/the-patch-2023, and are either $10.95 or 12.95 depending on the day of the week.

“We have several newer attractions that we created this year,” Griffin said. “We have done our due diligence, as we do every year, to try to make everything run efficiently. We do like to do our very best to make the whole experience efficient, because we think that’s important.”