It’s the time of year when everything turns to hues of orange, and families flock to U-pick pumpkin patches across the state to experience the outdoor, crisp fall air. But one patch has visitors heading underground, into a cliff.
You can’t miss the Cave Pumpkin Patch located on Swinging Bridges Road in Brumley, Mo. A happy jack-o'-lantern is painted on a huge door tucked into a hillside. It is the entrance to just one of the attractions of this Miller County farm.
Brumley, with its population of 91, is located just east of the Lake of the Ozarks. It is where Mark and Joyce Beabout, along with their family, open their farm and cave to visitors every October.
They offer a combination experience. There are outside activities such as pumpkin picking, slides and hayrides, but there also are activities inside a Missouri cave.
Missouri is known as the “Cave State.” It is home to more than 7,300 caves, making it second in number to Tennessee, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
In the early days, these caves were used as shelters and water sources by settlers. Later, caves housed beer since they offered constant temperatures. Today, caves are tourist attractions.
While visitors to the Cave Pumpkin Patch may stop to explore the hollows in the hill, they stay for the pumpkins in the field.
Missouri is home to several pumpkin patches. In 2017, the Missouri Department of Agriculture funded a specialty crops survey in the state. More than 500 people raising specialty crops from nuts to watermelons responded. The survey found only 71 pumpkin farms, which ranged in size from one-tenth of an acre to 30 acres. It is a small industry, but one that has a big following in the fall.
So, stop at the Cave Pumpkin Patch. It offers you a chance to support the state’s pumpkin growers and view one of its natural wonders.