Nothing ignites the excitement for fall quite like a pumpkin patch outing. For many, it was hard to find a true pumpkin patch with all the bells and whistles in West Alabama. So, after years of driving hours to their favorite patch, the Keen family longed for fall fun a little closer to home.
As beginning farmers, Peter and Carla Keen and their family opened the pumpkin patch portion of Keenland Farms in 2017. With an existing operation consisting of catfish and cattle, the pumpkin addition was perfect for a growing family to continue to diversify. A chiropractor by trade, Peter Keen guides his family toward always adding and finding new ways to generate additional income and provide services for the communities where they live and work.
On pumpkin days, it’s truly all hands on deck. From check-in to hayrides, you will find a Keen family member contributing to the excitement. They all help with harvest and clean-up to creating laughter across the fields.
The fun doesn’t stop with a pumpkin patch, though; you can expect a corn maze, zip line, jumping pillow, hay ride and more when you visit the farm in Gallion,
Alabama. When you are ready to rest, you can visit the farm animals and relax under the pole barn, where a live display of catfish can be found.
More Than Just Fun
Keenland Farms started their business as a way to bring a tradition alive in their community; however, they soon realized how many children around them had never been on a farm. The Keens connected with area schools to provide field trips during the fall where children could learn about agriculture and the process to grow their own food, including pumpkins and catfish. Many students, especially over the past 18 months, have been stuck at home and unable to enjoy the great outdoors and all it can offer.
“When they come through our gates, we want them to leave their baggage at home,” stated Peter Keen. At the end of the day, the students also get to take home a mini pumpkin to share with their families.
Farm education has been an integral part of the mission of Keenland Farms since the beginning. Not coming from a farming family, themselves, they understand that many people might not have the opportunity to experience farm life on a regular basis. When Alabama Ag Credit reached out to them about providing a farm product for the biannual Farm Credit Fly-In in Washington, D.C., they jumped at the chance and planted a mini-pumpkin patch specifically for that purpose.
Farm Credit hosted the Farm Credit Fly-In in person on November 2-3, 2021. During this event, board members and association leadership visited with members of Congress to explain on-the-ground conditions of the agriculture economy and how Farm Credit impacts rural communities
in good times and bad. The pumpkins provided by Keenland Farms were displayed and distributed at a Congressional Reception and Marketplace that gave members of Congress and their staff the opportunity to sample and take home products produced by Farm Credit customers across the country.
Alabama Ag Credit Lends a Hand
Looking for working capital to begin a farm, Peter Keen knew just who to call. Through
his private practice in Demopolis, he had many clients who were already farming in the area. When searching for advice on property and getting started, Alabama Ag Credit and lender Jason Abrams kept being recommended. Alabama Ag Credit has helped Keenland Farms from the very beginning in 2011. The relationship has allowed the Keens to continue to grow their operation.
“Our lender is always willing to stop by the farm when we have a question,” said Peter, founder of Keenland Farms. “Alabama Ag Credit understands what we are doing out here, from the cattle, catfish and agritourism, they are knowledgeable about the operation and how to help us succeed.”
Visit Keenland Farms
With over seven varieties to choose from, you are sure to take home the perfect pumpkin.