It’s the great pumpkin patch, KMC

story and photo by Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image1***A suggestion to farmer Reinhard Guhl has made it possible for children in the KMC to experience the American harvest tradition of hunting in a pumpkin patch for just the right one for carving or decorating.

“I had an American family in my house, and they told me to open a pumpkin patch for the Soldiers who will come and buy the pumpkins,” said Herr Guhl, who believes he has the only pumpkin patch in the KMC. “The family says, ‘It’s a good thing – in the states, they normally go to the pumpkin patch,’ and I say, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’ ”

That was in 1991, and since then, groups of school or child development center children have hunted for the perfect pumpkin at the one-and-a-half acre Sunshine Pumpkin Patch in Gerhardsbrunn, less than 15 minutes from Landstuhl.

One such group were preschoolers from the Kleber CDC who trekked out to Herr Guhl’s farm Sept. 29 for a morning filled with adventure and learning.

“It teaches them a lot of things like how things grow, about fall when the weather changes and how we get our food from different sources,” said Dee Dee Lana, the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s Kleber CDC director.

Every year, she and her staff take the program’s children to the pumpkin patch.

The learning doesn’t have to stop there, as Herr Guhl also offers tours to his farm to see cows, pigs, chickens, goats and geese.

Beaming with excitement on last year’s trip was four-year-old Neelia Lynn, who said, “I want to see the animals,” but as she entered the barn to see the cows, she quickly commented, “It smells bad.”

Learning continues for weeks after their field trip as all the children at the Kleber CDC, even infants who can scoop out the seeds, help to make pumpkin pie, soup and muffins.

“We have a portable oven that goes from classroom to classroom and the children will do the whole product from start to end,” said Ms. Lana, who added that the Kleber CDC has gone to the farm and baked pumpkin goods for at least the past six years.

The Sunshine Pumpkin Patch is open 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday beginning in October for individual families. Weekday tours for groups are also available. A tour of the farm and a hayride are available upon request, weather permitting. Herr Guhl also has potatoes and sweet corn available for purchase. To arrange a visit or get price information, call Herr Guhl at 06375-5852.

Directions from Kaiserslautern:
Exit autobahn A6 towards Saarbrücken at Landstuhler Kreuz and take autobahn A62 towards Pirmasens.  Take the first exit Landstuhl/Atzel and Martinshöhe. At the stop sign, turn left in the direction of Martinshöhe.   From there follow the road through a wooded area which opens into farm country.  Turn left at the sign that reads “Wallhalben 7 km, Gerhadsbrunn 2 km.  (There is also a handmade sign that directs you to the farm).  
Follow the road into the village of Gerhardsbrunn.  The Sunshine Pumpkin Farm is on the left at No.11 Adam Müller Strasse.

Houston, we have a pumpkin …
The Ramstein Community Center will once again host its “Pumpkin Launching” event at 11 a.m. Nov. 10, at the upper grassy field at Donnelly Park. This is a great time for families and units to put together their own catapults to launch those left-over Jack-O-Lanterns and win a prize. Anyone interested in the rules can stop by Bldg. 412 or call 480-7187.

Halloween bowling night
Kids age five and older are invited to bowl free from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Vogelweh Bowling Center. The event is sponsored by Amos T. Hall Military Lodge No. 142.

Crypt of Terror
The 735th Civil Engineer Squadron Booster Club hosts its annual “Crypt of Terror” haunted house from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight to Wednesday in Bldg. 1018 on Vogelweh Housing. 

Halloween Extravaganza
The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s outreach coordinator is hosting a Halloween Extravaganza 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Vogelweh Skate Express. There will be a costume bragging rights contest, face painting, tattoos, apple decorating, craft making and free skating. To sign up, call 489-7521 or 0631-536-7521 or e-mail

Halloween 5K run
Vogelweh Fitness Center hosts a 5K run on Tuesday. Costumes are encouraged. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m., race kicks off at 5 p.m. For more information. call 480-7329/7138 or 0631-536-7329.

Sembach Fall Festival
Games, prizes and a haunted house. All this and more takes place Saturday in the Sembach Theater parking lot. Food and a full agenda of fun for all ages, including a chili cook off and trunk or treating. Prizes for best dressed trunk and most creative costume. For more information, contact Staff Sgt. Nicole Beye at 496-6116 or 06302-67-6116, Staff Sgt. Joanne Johnson at 496-7733 or 06302-67-7733, Staff Sgt. Tymika Logan 496-7446 or 06302-67-7446 or Chaplain Wade at 496-7577 or  06302-67-7577.

Spooky Zoo tours
The Zoo in Kaiserslautern-Siegelbach offers guided spooky tours (also in English) starting at 4 p.m. Wednesday. At the end of the tours, a creepy punch and food will be offered.

Haunted Tent City
The annual Haunted Tent City opens 7 p.m. to midnight today, Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday on the 86th Construction and Training Squadron compound, two miles west of the Ramstein West Gate. Contact Melissa DeVault at 480-7422 for more information.

Pulaski pumpkin patch
The 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron Defender’s Association is hosting a pumpkin patch for kids 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Pulaski field. Children will have the opportunity to decorate their selected pumpkin with paint and other accessories. Cookies and caramel apples and other snacks will be sold at the event. For more information, call Senior Airman Darcy Keifer at 489-7518.