Sweet Pickins’ Pumpkin Patch opened for business in 2002. With just a few pumpkins, trikes and some little green wagons pulled behind a Kabota tractor, families came to enjoy an outing in the country. Thirteen years later, we are still striving to provide a family-friendly, farm experience for the hundreds of guests who visit each year.
Sweet Pickins’ founder, owner, farmer and kid at heart, Terry DeVries, grew up as a preacher’s kid moving around the country, but always calling Nebraska his home. After earning a BA in Mathematics at Hastings College, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri. While there, he became a pilot and earned all the ratings needed for commercial flying. A corporate pilot’s position for Semi Tool brought the family to Kalispell. Always a farmer at heart, Terry tried several crops before settling on pumpkins.
Sweet Pickins’ definitely started as a small family business. Deb DeVries, also a graduate of Hastings College, worked as a teacher for 10 years in North Kansas City public schools. She and Terry then spent 10 years in Nebraska growing 7 acres of u-pick strawberries. Now, at the pumpkin patch, she coordinates the business, taking reservations, scheduling, and accounting. She refers to herself as a migrant worker.
Terry and Deb’s four children, Aaron, Kiira, Elizabeth, and Tad have always played a major role in the farming business. Starting at a very early age, they’ve worked hard, being the sweat equity of the business. But they always had the coolest toys to play with! All of the kids, now grown, take an active role in the operations of the pumpkin patch.
We look forward each fall to seeing old friends, familiar faces, and meeting new folks seeking to find a family-friendly, low-tech experience they can enjoy together. We know a lot of happy memories have been made here. It’s our goal to keep growing and improving year after year.