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Carol and Andreas Pauly of Düllstadt started their pumpkin business six years ago. It has since become a popular field-trip destination for German and American youngsters who visit the pumpkin field to choose one for themselves.
Carol and Andreas Pauly of Düllstadt started their pumpkin business six years ago. It has since become a popular field-trip destination for German and American youngsters who visit the pumpkin field to choose one for themselves. (Charlie Coon / S&S)
Carol and Andreas Pauly of Düllstadt started their pumpkin business six years ago. It has since become a popular field-trip destination for German and American youngsters who visit the pumpkin field to choose one for themselves.
Carol and Andreas Pauly of Düllstadt started their pumpkin business six years ago. It has since become a popular field-trip destination for German and American youngsters who visit the pumpkin field to choose one for themselves. (Charlie Coon / S&S)
Patrons pick pumpkins.
Patrons pick pumpkins. (Charlie Coon / S&S)

DüLLSTADT, Germany — Ever visit a pumpkin patch?

For grown-ups it might not be a big deal. But for children who stand about, oh, pumpkin-high, a pumpkin patch is like a little orb-filled jungle.

Andreas and Carol Pauly started their pumpkin patch near here about six years ago. Then, it was an acre. Now it’s seven.

“It was the idea of my son [Markus],” said Andreas Pauly, a local German high school teacher. “It was overwhelming — in two or three weeks all the pumpkins were sold. It’s been expanding very rapidly.”

U.S. military families in the Würzburg area might want to visit the Pauly family’s pumpkin patch before the holidays hit. The pumpkin patch and stand are about 15 miles east of Würzburg.

It’s not just for kids either. Mom and dad can pick up gourds for cooking.

In the United States some of the gourds are known as “squash.” But in Germany, Andreas said, they’re all called “Kurbisse,” or pumpkins. The smaller ones will make a pretty centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table — a holiday not shared by Germans.

Andreas said most of the people who stop are just passing by. Some, though, are regulars.

“In September, they’re buying the pumpkins more for decorations,” he said. “In October it’s more for cooking and for Halloween.”

There also is pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup — even pumpkin schnitzel for purchase. Or try this — take a slice of butternut, coat it with bread crumbs and spices and sauté in oil.

At least two field trips to the pumpkin patch were scheduled for October for schools of U.S. military families.

“The children like to walk through the field,” Andreas said. “They sometimes have small wagons and bring the pumpkins with them.

“Or we’ll put their name on the pumpkin they choose, put them on a cart and take them to the bus.”

Andreas said he uses no pesticides or herbicides in his pumpkin field, so people don’t have to worry about that.

Carol, Andreas’ wife, is in charge of the pumpkin side of the household. She works long hours in the fall taking care of the customers.

“We make marmalade for tasting,” Andreas said. “When the American kids come it’s marmalade and white bread for everyone.”

Halloween-size pumpkins cost between 1.50 and 8 euros. But money isn’t a big issue.

“Children have small money,” Andreas said. “They get special prices.”

People might want to come during the week to avoid the weekend crowd.

Or not.

“There’s atmosphere when a lot of people are here,” Andreas said.

On the QT

Directions: Andreas and Carol Pauly’s pumpkin patch is on B22 near Düllstadt about 15 miles east of Würzburg.

Cost: Admission is free. The pumpkins cost between 1.50 and 8 euros, with most Halloween-style pumpkins costing around 3 euros.

Time: Pumpkin patch and stand are open seven days a week, from sunup to sundown, weather permitting, through mid-November.

Additional information: For details or to arrange tours, call (+49) (0)9325-627 or 0160-93909572.

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