As we finish up September and roll into October, the smell of pumpkin fills the air. People spend the whole month getting ready to celebrate Halloween. Whether it is decorating their lawn, carving pumpkins, or even attending a haunted house or corn maze, people love this time of year. Halloween and trick-or-treating is a great tradition of my favorite season. My friends at college have our weekends planned full of pumpkin patches, hay rides, and apple orchards. It is a lot different than back home when all spare time is spent in the field with harvest or on parts runs, and where any rainy days are full of machinery maintenance or livestock catch up jobs. For a kid growing up on the farm, Halloween can be a very confusing time. Farmer rules and Halloween rules are not the same. For example, people will put up huge corn mazes to celebrate the holiday by encouraging everyone to walk through it. However farmers always tell their children to never play in the corn fields. My dad had very strict rules for us kids to never go in the tall standing corn as a small child could easily get lost unable to find their way out. At all pumpkin patches there are often huge sandboxes full of shelled corn to play in. Again, farmers always advise their children to never play in the corn. Bins filled with grain are always off-limits.
We were never allowed to go inside without a shovel and an adult. It was a labor intensive job
not a playground. Both of these areas are huge dangers for young children looking for a fun
place to play on the farm. Farmer rules and pumpkin patch corn maze rules are completely different. These strict rules need to be stressed to all children and even some adults reminding them of their dangers on a real farm. We just celebrated National Farm Safety Week, which makes me realize that everyone should be informed of potential dangers from playing in the corn that is not in the Halloween setting.
Have a great fall and enjoy all of the fun-filled October festivities. Although, be sure to
remember that only in a fall season Halloween setting is it safe to play in the corn! ~Kesley Holdgrafer