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Great pumpkins rising again in Scandia Valley

POULSBO — Denmark was great but it doesn’t hold a candle to a pumpkin patch in Poulsbo.

After a two-year hiatus from the pumpkin business, farmers Ken and Mary Lou Jensen are back. The owners of Scandia Valley Farm recently opened their location at 16624 Scandia Road NW for the fall season.

“We need to let people know we’re back and we’re excited for the season,” Mary Lou (also known as Mrs. Farmer Jensen) said.

The farm is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 31.

Anyone is welcome to visit the farm’s roadside stand at any time to pick out veggies, corn, pumpkins and harvest decorations fresh from the Jensens’ 6.5 acres.

“We don’t need to bring anything in. What we grow, we sell,” Mary Lou said.

The Jensens moved to Scandia in 1988 and for their first three years helped Dwight and Pauleen Droz plant pumpkins and veggies every season. When the Drozes called it quits with pumpkin tours, the Jensens took up the slack.

But their familiar fruit stand and pioneer-style clothing have been absent the last two seasons. The Jensens spent one and one half years doing missionary work and leadership training for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Denmark.

“The missionary work was fun and we really enjoyed Denmark,” Mary Lou said. “We had fun because what we were doing was friendshipping with people, which is what we do here.”

The farm offers about 10 different varieties of pumpkins and nearly as many types of sweet corn and ornamental corn. Pumpkins range from traditional to the bright orange “Cinderella,” which are shaped like the fairy tale princess’ coach and the green and orange speckled “Khaki,” which has hull-less seeds that can be eaten without being roasted.

Fresh corn picked off the stalk is also available for the time being. Ken (a.k.a Farmer Jensen) said he’s been picking corn so many years now he doesn’t even have to pull open the husks to know when an ear is perfect.

“I’ll take some people out there and pick the corn and they eat it right there,” he said with a chuckle.

The farm offers individual and group tours. For a minimum fee, visitors can see the resident animals including Aflac the duck and Ernest and Nubie the Nubian goats as well as bunnies, chickens and piglets.

Tours also include a special story from Farmer Jensen on the crow, the scarecrow and the pumpkin seed and time in the “cornfounding” corn maze. This is the first time that Scandia Valley has offered a corn maze and so far response has been good. Farmer Jensen said one thing many people like is that he actually plotted out the maze and planted corn in a maze shape instead of planting rows of corn and knocking down a path.

“I’ve talked to some people I know who do corn mazes nationally and they said this one would stand up to any they’ve seen,” Farmer Jensen said.

Each tour visitor gets to pick a 15-pound or smaller pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and each school class gets one pumpkin and three stalks of corn.

The Jensens even have a special outdoor seating area set up at the 1904 farmhouse where birthday parties and other special gatherings at the farm could be held. The patio area features two barbecues, an outdoor fire pit and chairs for big and small people.

Each Friday night through Halloween, Scandia Valley Farm will be offering a Peanuts Great Pumpkin event, Beginning at dark, families can bring their flashlights and pick out their pumpkins in the dark. There will be pumpkin muffins and warm drinks to enjoy and then at 8 p.m., the Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch.

For more information, call (360) 779-3353 or (360) 649-7756 or go to http://users.acninc.net/jensmiss.

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