By Carrie Stevenson

Each year at the Church at Viera (CAV) pumpkin patch, there is more than the wind of a changing season in the air. Excitement is palpable and optimism abounds, and it’s generated by the teenagers and families who work days and nights at the patch to raise funds for the student ministry department, which supports two objectives: earning enough money to offset the cost of a trip for CAV’s student ministry’s service mission to an area in need (the 2017 trip went to Costa Rica, while in 2016 the mission served in Peru), or making money to put toward the cost of the popular summer camps that take place each summer. The fall festivities and children’s activities surrounding the pumpkin patch – which has been a fixture of the autumn season here for 19 years – support CAV’s vision for wholesome, welcoming, family-friendly community engagement, and the proceeds enable CAV to support students’ growth in their faith through service to others. 

For CAV Pumpkin Patch Coordinator Emily Boudreaux, seeing children and families enjoying the pumpkin patch is very rewarding. “The mornings at the pumpkin patch are often dedicated to preschool groups coming for a special field trip, and we love watching the children choose their pumpkins at the end,” she explains. “OFTEN IN THE AFTERNOONS WE HAVE FAMILIES COMING TOGETHER, JUST ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS. And as we get closer to the end of the month, we host our annual movie night in the patch, where people can bring blankets, lawn chairs, and pizza, grab some free popcorn and soda, and enjoy a double-feature: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It’s a great way for families to spend time together and just set the mood for fall.” 

Boudreaux hints that there might be some Saturday pop up events in the patch throughout the month of October, including a story time in the afternoon, a corn hole toss, or a carving contest. THE PATCH WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FROM OCTOBER 8 THROUGH OCTOBER 31. Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to 8 pm, Friday from 1 to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm. Details can be found at