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From farming to agritourism

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By Doug Ponder

One local farm has evolved into an agritourism fall season attraction farm.

Crawford Farms is located on 3999 Hodgenville Road in Elizabethtown near the LaRue/Hardin County line. The farm is open through November 1 Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. until dusk, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until dusk.

Crawford Farms features several attractions for all ages including a petting zoo, mega slide, barrel train rides, hayrides, two corn mazes, haunted silo, a nature walking trial and much more. The farm also sells over fifty varieties of pumpkins, gourds, squash and other fall decorations.

Mason Crawford said Crawford Farms diversified into producing pumpkins in 1988 when his sister Teresa was teaching in Meade County and wanted to take pumpkins to the students in her classroom. Crawford said his late father Billy grew a small pumpkin patch so Teresa could take the pumpkins to her students.

“After dad grew the pumpkins, my sister had enough to take to her students and we still had some left in the field. I was in high school at the time and could use some extra cash. I looked out into the field and said there has got to be some extra money left in the field,” Crawford said. “So, I got a wagon and went out and got the extra load of pumpkins that was left. I set up some straw bales next to the house and put a sign at the end of the road. The pumpkins sold out pretty quickly and that was the beginning of what we do now.”

After 1988, Crawford said surrounding schools started contacting them wanting to do field trips on the farm. He said throughout the years they started adding more attractions for the students and visitors.

“Dad cleared a path through the woods for a nature trail and he also showed the farm animals. My mom (Shirley) operated the retail stand. Each year we would add something different like the pumpkin palace, the hay maze, cornhole and other things,” Crawford said. “Now we have something to offer to people of all ages, even young adults and teens.”

Crawford Farms closed in 2003 when Crawford’s father passed away. However, the farm reopened in 2008 with the opening of Sprigg’s playland and petting zoo, in honor of Crawford’s father.

“Sprigg was my dad’s middle name and we named the playland after him. It was a tribute to him because he always enjoyed the kids coming out and enjoyed seeing them have fun on the farm,” Crawford said. “I also enjoy the kids. I enjoy the field trips with students, but I also enjoy seeing families experience the rural life on the farm. A lot of kids don’t get the chance to see a field of corn growing or farm animals up close. It’s a chance for families to reconnect with the rural way of life and a chance for them to have good wholesome fun.”

For more information about Crawford farms call 615-574-8470 or visit www.crawfordpumpkins.com.