Sunday, September 26, 2004

Look Who's Talking: Pam Shaw

Shaw Farms popular in autumn

Pam Shaw is co-owner of Shaw Farms, a 165-acre Milford farm known for its pumpkins and Fall Festival.

Long before the first frost has time to settle on the pumpkins, many local families will be planning an outing to Shaw Farms in Milford.

The 165-acre working farm has been in the Shaw family for more than 100 years, but it may be more well-known for its fall festival, a family-friendly event that began about 30 years ago and continues to grow in popularity each year.

The farm is open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout October; educational field trips can also be scheduled during the week. Visit the Web site,, for more information.

Pam Shaw, one of six family members who runs the business, gives a glimpse of what fall is like down on the farm.

WHY IS OCTOBER your busiest month?

People come here to celebrate fall. Between the pumpkins and the decorations and the displays, even if they don't celebrate Halloween, they can still come here and pick up things to decorate their homes and have a wonderful family outing together. There's also the educational aspect; a lot of people are so far removed from farming that they really enjoy learning about it.

WHAT ARE THE BIG sellers from your fall harvest?

We have 20 acres of pumpkins in a great variety of sizes, shapes and colors. We sell between 200 and 225 tons of pumpkins each October. Each ton is equal to about one pickup truck load. We also sell several tons of squash and gourds, as well as corn stalks and straw for decoration purposes. Our Selling Shed has crafts, painted pumpkins, scarecrows, candles, snacks and other kinds of fall items. And though we're not an orchard, we sell about 75-100 bushels of apples each October, too. We do a little wholesale selling, but most of that is retail. Sometimes we get up to 1,000 visitors a day in October.

WHAT FAMILY activities do you offer?

We have well over 40 characters with pumpkin heads and painted faces and several displays that children and adults can play in and play on. There's the Three Little Pigs and their houses, Cinderella and her coach and horses, and a Winnie the Pooh train. This year we'll have a new Western town, a series of about six old-time buildings including a general store and a bank, complete with pioneer characters. All of that is mixed in among our traditional farm animals - horses, donkeys, chickens, turkey and sheep - that are all on display.

P. Andruss

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