CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - They have small ones, big ones, orange ones, and green ones, and they are in peak picking condition right now.
"This is our biggest month. This is the only month we are open to everybody all day long," said farmer, Frank Hodges. He owns Hodges Farm off Rocky River Road. The farm is open year round for produce, beef, and horseback riding lessons. This time a year the crowds pour in for a different reason.
"We do pumpkins, that's the focus! We also do hay rides, pony rides, climb up the hay mountain, we go through the maze..." There's no shortage of activity, and admission is free. You can choose from fifteen different varieties, on the vine or off.
That's why preschool teacher Melissa Whipple brings her class each year. "To bring them out to see real animals, real crops, and to meet a real farmer is just something you can't teach in the classroom," said Whipple.
Hodges farm sells more than colorful squash. It sells a story, and an experience more than one hundred years old.
"This is where I was born, my father was born here, and his father was born here. This is the same view I had back in 1952," said Hodges. It's been passed down from generation to generation with one goal in mind: to teach our future about the importance of farming. "My main intent is to expose people to what the world is like instead of Walmart or Harris Teeter," he said. "This is where everything comes from, civilization comes from."
It's an educational lesson that is fun and affordable. "You can get pumpkins anywhere, you can get them anywhere but I don't think you'll have near as much fun going to Walmart to pick up your pumpkins or the supermarket." said Hodges.
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START: Charlotte, NC 28208 US
1. Start out going NORTHWEST on HEYWOOD AVE toward LIGGETT ST. (go 0.0 miles)
2. Turn RIGHT onto LIGGETT ST. (go 0.0 miles)
3. Turn LEFT onto ASHLEY RD. (go 0.8 miles)
4. Turn LEFT onto FREEDOM DR/NC-27. (go 0.1 miles)
5. Merge onto I-85 N toward CONCORD. (go 7.5 miles)
6. Merge onto US-29-BYP N via EXIT 42 toward US-29/NC-49. (go 1.0 miles)
7. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto N TRYON ST/US-29 N/NC-49 N. Continue to follow NC-49 N.
8. Turn RIGHT onto CHANCELLOR PARK DR. (go 0.3 miles)
9. Turn RIGHT onto E WT HARRIS BLVD/NC-24 E. (go 1.8 miles)
10. Turn LEFT onto ROCKY RIVER RD. (go 0.5 miles)
11. Keep LEFT at the fork to continue on ROCKY RIVER RD. (go 1.0 miles)
12. 3900 ROCKY RIVER RD is on the RIGHT. (go 0.0 miles)
END: 3900 Rocky River Rd, Charlotte, NC 28215-8589 US
TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 19 minutes | DISTANCE: 14.20 miles