Amid Surging Thefts, Family-Owned Farm Urges Support of Upstate New York Farms
A local farm is raising alarm about the repeated, brazen thefts plaguing the farming community. If nothing changes, they say it could drive up costs for everyone.
Pumpkin Head Farm, which operates in the mucklands of Rome, has also been grappling with thefts. The fifth generation farm opened up about dealing with back-to-back robberies over the weekend to illustrate how brazen thieves have become.
People have walked onto their property in broad daylight to steal their pumpkins, which are being sold for a super reasonable price - $3 each.
The family-owned business is understandably upset by the continued thefts, but their concern is directed toward how these crimes will ultimately impact the farming community and those who rely on it for food.
Many farms in and around their area are also reporting thefts of their produce or cash boxes. Pumpkin Head Farms said there are several local farms whose depend on sales as their sole source of income. They warned that if farms continue losing revenue to thieves, it won't only cause significant complications for the growing community, it will spark a ripple effect that'll impact nearly everyone.
Taking advantage of the honor system
In an announcement to its supporters, Pumpkin Head Farms opened up about how the recent incidents affected them emotionally.
The first of the weekend thefts happened Friday, when a woman lied to the owners that she had already paid for her pumpkins. The woman then drove away before the family realized what had happened.
The second theft happened the following day, when neighbors of the farm watched another woman enter the parking lot and "load her blue Dodge Caravan with pumpkins." She then fled without paying.
The owners were at work so no one was manning the stand at the time, but there is a cash box on the property. While most people do follow the honor system, some individuals take advantage of the family's trust.
Pumpkin Head Farms said they were disgusted by what happened and warned of the consequences these incidents bring.
"This is why small businesses raise their prices," the farm stated.
While Pumpkin Head Farm is far from the only produce business to be targeted by robbers, the community is in an uproar because the owners make their produce as affordable and accessible as possible.
Why $3 pumpkins
If that price for a pumpkin sounds amazing, that's because it really is. I visited Pumpkin Head Farms on Saturday and witnessed their huge collection of home-grown pumpkins that come in all shapes and sizes.
I asked the owners why their pumpkins are so reasonably priced, and their answer floored me.
Instead of focusing on making a profit, the owners say their priority is teaching their children the value of hard work. Their kids will be the fifth generation to inherit the farm, so the stand helps teach them all the important lessons of running a successful business while forming a strong bond with their community.
The owners also noted they keep their prices low because they understand people are struggling. With inflation and the rising costs of basic necessities, they wanted their farm to serve as a place where people can feel excited about Halloween and not worry about the bottom line when picking out the perfect pumpkin.
On the topic of a bottom line, the Pumpkin Head Farm owners are concerned about all the stands or greenhouses that are struggling with burglaries. Some of those businesses depend on their produce to make a living, which makes the recent surge in crime even more distressing.
They encouraged the community to rise up and show their support for farmers by visiting their businesses and purchasing their produce.
Visiting Pumpkin Head Farms and those from their community does make a difference. Doing your part can be as small as buying a few ripe tomatoes from a farmstand on the side of the road.
Every little bit helps.
Additionally, I should note to those who suffer from pumpkins being continually ruined by rot and rodents - the owners of Pumpkin Head Farms will be more than happy to teach you how to help your gourds last to Thanksgiving.
I have the recipe written down and followed it exactly, but you're better off learning this secret straight from the source! From there, be sure to hit the other stands in the surrounding areas for freshly picked fruits, veggies, and more.
You can find these amazing pumpkins - and many other vibrant farms - in the mucklands of Rome.
In all, support your local farmers - they could really use it.
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