Navajo Nation pumpkins made trip to Chester Navajo Nation pumpkins made trip to Chester
An 18-wheeler packed full of pumpkins and gourds of different shapes, sizes, and colors recently arrived at Trinity United Methodist Church. Volunteers of all... Navajo Nation pumpkins made trip to Chester

An 18-wheeler packed full of pumpkins and gourds of different shapes, sizes, and colors recently arrived at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Volunteers of all ages unloaded the produce onto the church’s front lawn at 6600 Greenyard Road.

The church has partnered with Pumpkin Patch, pumpkinusa.com, each of the last 19 years to supply a variety of pumpkins and gourds.

The New Mexican pumpkin farm employs more than 500 Native Americans on the Navajo reservation, including some from the Pueblo, Zuni and Hopi tribes.

“They are expected to harvest nearly two million pumpkins in six weeks,” pumpkin patch organizer John Morris said. “Not only do we support local missions with our sales; we also support Native American job opportunity.” He added that the harvest should result in a $1.5 million payroll for Native Americans in a region that has over 40-percent unemployment.

The pumpkin patch has been a destination for families seeking out pumpkins for harvest festivals or Halloween.

In addition, men of the church will be stirring up a pot full of Brunswick atew on Saturday, Oct. 6, along with apple butter during their Oct. 20 fall festival. Ten-inch mums will also be for sale during those times.

“There will be opportunities to take pictures among the pumpkins and stand behind character screens with your face in the hole,” Morris said. “Look for some new features. Our pumpkin patch is a destination, and we invite all to visit and capture some great photos to share with your family.”

Visits to the patch by preschools and daycare can be scheduled by calling the church at (804) 748-2439 or Morris at (804) 777-9163.

Hours for the patch are 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Honor box donations are available at other times.