The City of Santa Maria has partnered with Betteravia Farms to provide free agricultural education programs to more than 60 local high school students and as a result, the teens are about to open their own pumpkin patch.
The monthly workdays and outreach programs give the students an education in land and crop production and a hands-on experience in cultivating their own produce.
They’re currently growing more than 40,000 pumpkins, two acres of corn, and various produce at Los Flores Ranch Park.
"Growing up in an agriculture town, we never really knew a lot about like the ag industry," said Luke Zaragoza, a junior at Pioneer Valley High School. "This really lets us learn like what everybody in town, like what most people in town get to do when they wake up in the morning."
The pumpkin patch will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., from September 27 to October 28 at Los Flores Ranch Park.
In addition to selling pumpkins and fresh produce, there will be a corn maze, food vendors, an agricultural exhibit, animal exhibit, games, live music, and children’s craft area.
Some of the students in the City of Santa Maria’s agriculture program. (KSBY photo)