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The Great Pumpkin Patch

A destination for the harvest season.

Apr 01, 2024 Farms & Orchards

If you’ve ever wondered if the Great Pumpkin Patch is a real place, a visit to the town of Arthur in the heart of Illinois Amish country will confirm your belief. 

The History of Illinois' Largest Pumpkin Patch

The true story of the Great Pumpkin Patch began in 1977, when farmers Bruce and Mary Beth planted a handful of pumpkin seeds in their children’s garden. Over the years, this garden patch has evolved into acres of prime pumpkin-growing land.

Today, this Illinois Made family farm, first homesteaded by the McDonald family of Scotland in 1859, is the ultimate destination for the harvest and Halloween seasons. Where kids — and kids at heart — arrive every weekend by the carload in search of the real Great Pumpkin.

An array of pumpkins at The 200 Acres Tips to prepare squash sign sitting atop an array of squash
An Array of Pumpkins at The 200 Acres / Tips to Prepare Squash Sign

About the 200 Acres Pumpkin Farm

For 28 autumns now, the McDonald-Condill family has opened their 14 acres of gardens and activities to visitors seeking their yearly pumpkin fix. Guests test their path-finding skills in several corn mazes, visit friendly goats, llamas, chickens and rabbits, wagon rides and pumpkin picking. Enjoy the overflowing menu of fall treats, including pumpkin ice cream and their famous iced pumpkin cookies.

“We have one of the widest varieties of pumpkins growing in a single patch that you’ll find anywhere in the country,” says Shana Condill, an owner and sister-in-law to Horticulturist-in-Residence Mac Condill, who has chatted about pumpkins with Martha Stewart on her television show, in the pages of her self-titled magazine and other popular titles as Woman’s Day and Midwest Living.

No other state grows more pumpkins than Illinois…

— Mac Condill

Pumpkins on a ladder with blue sky in the background
Pumpkins on a Ladder at The 200 Acres

The Great Pumpkin Patch is one chapter of a grander agri-tourism adventure story. The 200 Acres is a working farm where traditions go back to the earliest days of American agriculture. General Manager Mac Condill, his wife Ginny and sons Mac, Kit, Buck and their families have transformed the farm into teaching grounds for the beauty and flavors of pumpkins, squash and gourds, along with colorful uses of every type of cucurbit. The Condill family also runs The Homestead Seeds, where they offer seeds for more than 400 varieties of cucurbits to self-sustaining gardeners, including novel varieties saved from extinction and one remarkable heirloom squash specimen handed down from a survivor of the Holocaust. Mac’s passion was sparked by his high school botany teacher, leading to a horticulture degree from Illinois State and internship at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa. His ingenuity, knowledge and dedication to sustainability and international seed exchanges — with appearances at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, the Natural Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, The Martha Stewart Show (her annual Pumpkin-Palooza segment is worth googling) and trips to the White House — have made Mac famous among farmers around the world. 

Visiting The Great Pumpkin Patch

Every year, as many as 60,000 visitors throng the Pumpkin Patch for seven weeks spanning the harvest season in September and October.  On your way through Arthur you'll find hand-painted directional signage at the main intersections to help you find your way.

The farm is located at 1749 CR 1900N, Arthur, IL. Two miles south and 1/2 mile west of the village of Arthur. You can find travel directions from both the east and west on The 200 Acres website.

Before the Great Pumpkins take flight next Halloween night, visit their Homestead Bakery, also located on the farm, always open and offering pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes and the finest honey-yeast breads you’ll ever taste. On this sixth-generation farm there is a mantra the whole family lives by: we do it all from dirt to dessert.

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