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Gervais High School FFA invited about 500 students to campus for the annual Elementary School Community Pumpkin Patch

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Dresen Freschweilers bumble-bee sheep, Katrina, was a hit during the Gervais FFA Elementary School Community Pumpkin Patch on Thursday, Oct. 30.  A sheep dressed up as a bumble bee is not something you see every day.

Gervais High School FFA member Dresen Ferschweiler is keen to that, so that's the Halloween costume with which she adorned her show sheep, Katrina, during the Wednesday, Oct. 30, Elementary SPMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Finding the right pumpkin was a paramount pursuit at the Gervais FFA Elementary School Community Pumpkin Patch on Thursday, Oct. 30.   chool Community Pumpkin Patch.

Katrina was among four animals at the event, including another sheep and two alpacas, which proved to be a hit with the younger set, as much if not more so than the pumpkins and face painting.

"This is one that was at the state fair; I was showing her in 4H," Ferschweiler said, as a handful of elementary-school kids huddled in for a petting on the frigid grounds around the GHS FFA barn.

"It's been going good today," said Gervais FFA advisor Megan Dilson. "We are going to go through about 500 kids again this year."

"Five hundred kids" means as many pumpkins, donations made by Autumn Harvest and Molalla area nursery Northwest Transplants.

"We have about 30 FFA kids working this today: outside here greeting kids and inside the barn painting faces and handing out cookies and juice," said Dilson, who donned her own Halloween costume, a dill pickle, for the event. "They went out and picked up all the pumpkins on the weekend. Then yesterday after school they came out here and set them all out for the pumpkin patch."PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - A pair of alpacas were a hit during the Gervais FFA Elementary School Community Pumpkin Patch on Thursday, Oct. 30.

The work was well received by the youngsters who perused through the patch for the perfect pumpkin, patted the farm critters and topped off the outing with some goodies or painted-on critter face. Some of the youngsters were in costume, as were a few FFA kids: Spiderman, unicorns, Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas and Disney's Stitch.

Beyond the fun, there is learning involved with the event.PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Face painting was part of the fun during the Gervais FFA Elementary School Community Pumpkin Patch on Thursday, Oct. 30.

"This is an educational day: the kids learn about the farm and animals, and they learn where pumpkins come from, how they grow and what they are used for," Dilson said.

That list includes roasted seeds, pumpkin bread, soup and puree, desserts and livestock feed. But the No. 1 use is decorations – and that includes jack-o'-lanterns, and a good bet is many of the totes from the FFA field were destined to that end.


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