ROLAND, Ark. — Dozens of families have been getting out and taking advantage of the recent pleasant weather in Arkansas.
Now that we turned the calendar to October, many are now gearing up for Halloween— however, some challenges this year have threatened a big part of the holiday tradition.
October 1st was the unofficial start to the spooky season and hundreds will soon be flocking to pumpkin patches this year.
But according to local farmers like Karen Bradford, it hasn't been easy— and they faced new challenges during this harvest season.
Bradford is the owner of BoBrook Farms in Roland.
"You never know what to expect. It's farming [and] I don't care what you're growing, it's a roll and dice," Bradford said.
Although she is a seasoned farmer, Bradford said that nothing could have prepared her for this season's difficulties.
"First, our issue was it wouldn't quit raining to get in the field to even prepare the soil to plant anything," Bradford said.
After some time, she was able to begin planting for the season's harvest, but weather conditions continued to hinder the progress.
"The temperatures were just too hot and so the plant was just stressing out," Bradford explained.
Another hurdle, she added, has been dealing with record-high inflation.
She said that the price of fertilizer, among other things, has increased.
Additionally, Bradford felt a bit fearful about how this season would play out.
"Diesel fuel is twice as much for parts for our tractors and stuff," Bradford said.
Despite the increased cost of operating the farm, she informed us that there was never any consideration to increase the prices for visiting families.
"We want to keep it affordable so that the same families can still come [and] they don't have to tell their kids 'we can't afford to go to BoBrook this year,'" Bradford said.
She's planted at least 2,000 pumpkins on her farm and even had help from a friend in Lonoke to get even more.
Regardless of the issues the farm has faced, Bradford felt grateful that she was able to keep things running— and people happy.
"So many people [and] so many faces repeat and we don't ever want to let them down," Bradford said.