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How to Start a Pumpkin Farm

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Start a Pumpkin Farm

Fast Facts

Investment range

$12,300 - $24,300

Revenue potential

$100,000 - $150,000 p.a.

Time to build

3-6 months

Profit potential

$40,000 - $56,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Parents love to take their kids to the pumpkin farm in the fall to pick out pumpkins, go on hayrides, and just enjoy the great outdoors. Pumpkins are also great for carving into jack-o-lanterns and making them into delicious pies. Interestingly, the U.S. pumpkin production industry has been booming, having more than tripled in the last 20 years. 

If you have some land, you could start your own pumpkin farm to get in on that market and create a place for family fun.

But first, you need to understand the business. Luckily, this step-by-step guide has you covered with all the business insights you need to start a successful pumpkin farm.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons


  • Can be a fun business during the fall
  • Pumpkins are easy to grow
  • Potential for multiple revenue streams


  • Seasonal business
  • Land or land investment required

Pumpkin farm industry trends

Industry size and growth

Pumpkin industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Pumpkin Industry Trends and Challenges


  • Oddly shaped or colored pumpkins have become popular, allowing pumpkin farms to sell pumpkins that they couldn’t sell before.
  • The use of pumpkin seeds in salads is increasing in popularity, creating more demand for pumpkins.


  • Pests and diseases often threaten pumpkin crops.
  • Weather issues can often reduce the size of pumpkins produced.

How much does it cost to start a pumpkin farm business?

Startup costs for a pumpkin farm, assuming you already have the land, range from $12,000 to $24,000. Your costs will vary based on how much acreage you’re farming. Clearly, if you need to buy land, your costs will be significantly higher. 

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your pumpkin farm business, including: 

  • Tractor
  • Shredder
  • Bedder
  • Planter
  • Herbicide sprayer
  • Trailer
  • Irrigation system
Start-up CostsBallpark RangeAverage
Setting up a business name and corporation$100 - $500$300
Business licenses and permits$100 - $300$200
Website$500 - $1,000$750
Equipment$5,000 - $10,000$7,500
Planting cost $3,000 - $5,000$4,000
Maintenance until harvest$3,000 - $6,000$4,500
Sales and marketing budget$500 - $1,000$750
Total$12,300 - $24,300$18,300

How much can you earn from a pumpkin farm business?

Pumpkin Farm earning forecast

To make a good profit, you’ll need to get creative. You should consider offering both harvested pumpkins and a pick your own option. You should also offer other products during the fall season, such as pumpkin pies, cider, hayrides, or even other vegetables that you grow. These calculations will assume that you’ll offer all of these, and that your average customer will spend about $20 when they come to your farm. Your profit margin after all your planting and other costs should be about 40%. 

In your first year or two, you might have 5000 customers a season (September to November), bringing in $100,000 in revenue. This would mean $40,000 in profit, assuming that 40% margin. 

As you gain traction, you may expand your operation and add new products, increasing your average sale per person to $30. With annual revenue of $150,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $56,000.

You can increase your revenue by growing things on your farm that you can sell at other times during the year. 

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a pumpkin farm. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Having or purchasing suitable land
  • Acquiring the knowledge to plant and grow pumpkins

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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a pumpkin farm, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research could give you the upper hand even if you’ve got the perfect product. Conducting robust market research is crucial, as it will help you better understand your customers, your competitors, and the broader business landscape.

Analyze your competitors 

Research pumpkin farms in your area to examine their products and services, price points, and customer reviews.

  • Make a list of pumpkin farms that offer similar products or services. 
  • Review your competitors’ products – their features, pricing, and quality – and marketing strategies
  • Check out their online reviews and ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to get an idea of what their customers like and dislike.
  • Identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

This should identify areas where you can strengthen your business and gain a competitive edge to make better business decisions.

Why? Identify an opportunity

You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a pumpkin farm that hosts a fall festival, or that has a hay maze or a corn maze. 

You might consider targeting a niche, such as full family pumpkin farm experiences.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your offerings

You should try to offer a wide variety of products and services, in addition to selling pumpkins. A bakery in which you sell pumpkin pies and other pies or pumpkin treats could be a good stream of revenue. Charging for hayrides or other kid and family activities can also bring in additional revenue. Having a petting zoo of farm animals could be another money maker.

Growing other vegetables that you can sell during other times of the year could also significantly increase your farm’s revenue. 

How much should you charge for pumpkins?

Your prices for pumpkins and other products and services should be based on market prices, but also on your costs.

Once you know your costs, use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

A pumpkin farm can have multiple target markets, depending on its offerings, location, and business model. Some potential target markets for a pumpkin farm include:

  1. Families with Children: Many families visit pumpkin farms for recreational activities. Picking pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, and other fall-themed attractions can be a fun family outing.
  2. Home Decor Enthusiasts: As autumn arrives, many individuals and households look for pumpkins to decorate their homes for the fall and Halloween season.
  3. Hobbyist and Professional Carvers: Around Halloween, pumpkin carving becomes a popular activity. Those who carve pumpkins, either as a hobby or professionally, need pumpkins to work with.
  4. Bakers and Cooks: Pumpkins can be used to make a variety of dishes, from pumpkin pies to pumpkin soups and roasts. Those who enjoy cooking or baking with fresh ingredients might visit a pumpkin farm to buy pumpkins for this purpose.
  5. Event Organizers: For fall-themed events or Halloween parties, event organizers might source pumpkins in bulk from farms.
  6. Local Retailers: Grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other local retailers might buy pumpkins wholesale from farms to sell in their establishments.
  7. Tourists and Day-Trippers: If the pumpkin farm is located in a picturesque area or has unique offerings, it might attract tourists or people looking for a day out.
  8. Schools and Educational Groups: Pumpkin farms often offer educational tours where students can learn about farming, the lifecycle of pumpkins, and related topics.
  9. Crafters and DIY Enthusiasts: Some people buy pumpkins for crafting purposes, whether it’s painting them, making centerpieces, or other creative projects.
  10. Local Restaurants and Cafés: Establishments that pride themselves on using local, fresh ingredients might buy pumpkins to make seasonal dishes.

Where? Choose a pumpkin farm location

Here’s a list of factors to consider when choosing a pumpkin farm location:

  1. Soil Quality: Fertile, well-draining with good pH levels.
  2. Sunlight: Full sunlight for 6-8 hours daily.
  3. Water Accessibility: Reliable source; avoid flood-prone areas.
  4. Land Size and Shape: Suitable for your operation and crop rotation.
  5. Climate and Frost: Monitor frost dates; pumpkins are frost-sensitive.
  6. Proximity to Market: Close to consumers or retailers; accessible for visitors.
  7. Local Competition: Research nearby farms; identify market gaps.
  8. Infrastructure and Facilities: Good road access and storage; space for attractions if needed.
  9. Pest and Disease History: Check area’s history for pumpkin-related issues.
  10. Cost and Budget: Compare land prices and setup costs.
  11. Regulations and Zoning: Check agricultural zoning and local farm regulations.
  12. Potential for Expansion: Availability of adjacent land for future growth.
umpkin Farm idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Pumpkin Patch Business Name

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “pumpkin farm” or “pumpkin patch”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “SeasonsBounty Farms” and “PatchExpand Plantations” over “GoldenGourd Acres” and “AutumnHarvest Pumpkins”
  • A location-based name can help establish a strong connection with your local community and help with the SEO but might hinder future expansion

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead and reserve your business name with your state, start the trademark registration process, and complete your domain registration and social media account creation. 

Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick a name, reserve it and start with the branding, it’s hard to switch to a new name. So be sure to carefully consider your choice before moving forward. 

Step 4: Create a Business Plan

Here are the key components of a business plan:

what to include in a business plan
  • Executive Summary: Provide a brief summary of your pumpkin farm business plan, highlighting your goals, location, and expected profitability.
  • Business Overview: Introduce your pumpkin farm, including its size, location, types of pumpkins grown, and any additional products or services offered, like hayrides or pumpkin picking events.
  • Product and Services: Describe the pumpkins and related products or services your farm offers, such as pumpkin varieties, pumpkin-related merchandise, and any agritourism activities.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the local and regional market for pumpkins and fall-related products, considering factors like seasonal demand, competition, and consumer preferences.
  • Competitive Analysis: Identify and evaluate other pumpkin farms, seasonal attractions, and grocery stores selling pumpkins in the area, emphasizing what makes your farm unique.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline your marketing strategies for attracting customers, including advertising, social media campaigns, and partnerships with local businesses.
  • Management Team: Highlight the qualifications and experience of your management team, focusing on their knowledge of farming practices and agritourism.
  • Operations Plan: Detail the day-to-day operations of your pumpkin farm, covering aspects like planting, harvesting, staffing, visitor safety, and pricing.
  • Financial Plan: Present financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, operating expenses, and expected profitability for your pumpkin farm.
  • Appendix: Include any supporting documents, such as farm layouts, safety procedures, permits, and financial statements, to enhance the credibility of your business plan.

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to pumpkin farms. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your pumpkin farm will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures
  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts. Here’s how to form an LLC.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation. Read how to start a corporation here.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have. 

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

types of business financing
  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a pumpkin farm business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.  

Step 8: Apply for Agricultural Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a pumpkin farm business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your pumpkin farm business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance
  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as AgCode, farmbrite, or FarmLogic, to manage your planting records, plant care records, and sales.


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Create a website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

Your customers are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. 

Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Buy Tickets Now” or “Order”. This can sharply increase purchases.  


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  1. Seasonal Promotions: Offer special promotions during peak pumpkin season, such as buy-one-get-one-free deals, discounted family packages, or loyalty programs to encourage repeat customers.
  2. Educational Events: Host workshops or events on pumpkin carving, cooking demonstrations using pumpkins, or educational tours for schools to create a community connection and showcase the versatility of pumpkins.
  3. Social Media Contests: Engage your audience on social media by organizing pumpkin carving contests, recipe competitions, or photo challenges, encouraging users to share their experiences and creations using your farm’s hashtag.
  4. Local SEO — Regularly update your Google My Business and Yelp profiles to strengthen your local search presence.
  5. Partnerships with Local Businesses: Collaborate with nearby restaurants, cafes, or businesses to feature your pumpkins in their seasonal menus or decorations, creating a mutually beneficial relationship and expanding your reach.
  6. Community Sponsorships: Sponsor local events, sports teams, or community gatherings to increase brand visibility and align your pumpkin farm with community values.
  7. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Programs: Implement a CSA program where customers can subscribe to receive a regular supply of pumpkins, providing a steady income stream and building a loyal customer base.
  8. Farm-to-Table Experiences: Organize farm-to-table experiences, inviting local chefs to showcase pumpkin-based dishes using ingredients from your farm, attracting food enthusiasts and garnering positive word-of-mouth.
  9. Mobile Farm Stand: Create a mobile farm stand to bring your pumpkins to high-traffic areas, farmers’ markets, or local events, maximizing exposure and sales opportunities.
  10. Themed Photo Opportunities: Design picturesque areas within your farm for visitors to take fall-themed photos, encouraging social media sharing and generating organic promotion for your pumpkin farm.
  11. Email Marketing Campaigns: Build an email list by offering incentives such as exclusive discounts, early access to events, or downloadable pumpkin recipes, and use targeted email campaigns to keep customers informed and engaged throughout the year.

Focus on USPs

unique selling proposition

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your pumpkin farm meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your pumpkin farm business could be: 

  • Experience the enchantment of fall at our vibrant pumpkin farm, where family fun and autumn memories come to life
  • Immerse yourself in a pumpkin wonderland, where our farm offers a harvest of joy and seasonal delights
  • Create cherished traditions at our picturesque pumpkin farm, where the magic of Halloween meets wholesome family fun


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a pumpkin farm business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in pumpkin farming for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in pumpkin farms. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a pumpkin farm business include:

  • Farmhands – plant and care for crops
  • Marketing Lead – create and implement marketing strategies
  • General Manager – crop management, accounting

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Pumpkin Farm – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

What fun would it be to host families in the fall to give them a great experience! You’ll also be getting in on a growing market and making a nice profit. You can get creative with your pumpkin farm and offer all sorts of activities and products to boost your revenue and enhance the experience of your customers.

You understand the business now, so it’s time to get out the tractor and prepare to start planting your successful pumpkin farm!

Pumpkin Farm Business FAQs

Is a pumpkin farm profitable?

A pumpkin farm can be profitable if managed effectively and meets market demand. Profitability depends on factors such as location, marketing strategies, pricing, diversification of offerings (e.g., agritourism, pumpkin-related products), operational efficiency, and the ability to attract customers during the harvest season. Additionally, establishing partnerships with local businesses, schools, or event organizers can contribute to profitability.

What happens during a typical day at a pumpkin farm?

Activities on a pumpkin farm can vary depending on the season and the specific operations of the farm. A typical day during the pumpkin season may involve tasks such as planting and tending to pumpkin crops, managing irrigation and pest control, maintaining farm infrastructure, harvesting pumpkins, sorting and grading pumpkins based on size and quality, organizing and pricing pumpkins for sale, engaging with customers, and potentially offering additional attractions or activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, or pumpkin carving events.

What is the growth potential of a pumpkin farm?

The growth potential of a pumpkin farm is often tied to local demand and the ability to attract customers. Expanding product offerings beyond pumpkins, such as selling pumpkin-related products or hosting seasonal events, can enhance growth potential. Effective marketing strategies, diversification of revenue streams, and establishing a strong customer base can contribute to the long-term growth and sustainability of a pumpkin farm.

What type of business is a pumpkin farm?

A pumpkin farm can be categorized as an agricultural business or a seasonal farm business. It involves cultivating and harvesting pumpkins as the primary crop and may also include additional offerings such as agritourism activities, seasonal events, or the sale of pumpkin-related products. The business model can range from small family-owned farms to larger operations that cater to local communities or attract visitors from a wider region.


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How to Start a Pumpkin Farm