The Power of Pumpkins

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  We carve them, cook them and decorate with them … but churches are finding one more important use for pumpkins.  Through the generosity of a farmer in New Mexico, nearly a thousand congregations are learning the power of the pumpkin as a new source of income and opportunity.  
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Under the blue sky in the desert southwest … hope grows on a vine.

Richard Hamby, Pumpkin Farmer: “There’s probably a hundred loads of pumpkins in here.  We grow twenty different varieties and they range in size from five pounds to forty or fifty pounds”

For 29 years, Richard Hamby has prided himself on being a simple pumpkin farmer.

Hamby: “We’ll load probably somewhere between a million-six and two million individual pumpkins during this season.”

But this farmer’s crop never makes it to the market.  Instead, he gives the pumpkins to churches around the country to raise money for mission projects. 

Hamby: “We’ve got a church in San Antonio, Texas that’s actually built a Habitat from nothing but the receipts from the Pumpkin Patch.”

From Texas to Tennessee and beyond, churches benefit from Richard’s pumpkins.

Jill Vogle / Fellowship UMC, Murfreesboro, TN: “Not only does it let the youth get more involved in the church, it brings the community in too and it’s just a really good outreach fundraiser for them to have.”

Richard operates solely on good faith.  He ships millions of dollars worth of pumpkins to 42 states with no paperwork, no contracts.  He just asks participants to give back to the pumpkin project to keep it going. And give they do.

“It’s sort of a fortuitous accident, I never thought it would grow this big but we’re almost at a thousand locations and the churches themselves net over three million dollars a year for their projects which range from ski trips to Habitat projects.”

It takes six weeks to harvest the pumpkins every fall … but the yield last for years.


If you would like more information about the pumpkin project visit their website at