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After a hiatus year, the Gervais FFA welcomed hosting its annual pumpkin patch on Friday, Oct. 15

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - A lot of smiles were seen at the Gervais High School FFA annual pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15.A curious goat named "Ding-a-ling" kept Gervais High School junior Jessica Velasco on her toes Friday morning.

Velasco held Ding-a-ling's leash as school district youngsters filed into the high school grounds to pick out a pumpkin and pet the various goats, sheep and alpacas on hand. But her friend's goat seemed more interested in nibbling on Velasco's black shirt than anything else.

That was one snapshot moment of giggles during the Gervais FFA's annual pumpkin patch. Twenty-seven high school FFA students hosted the patch from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as younger students from pre-school and daycare through elementary school visited. Besides the pumpkins and petting, the youngsters were treated to a Halloween-themed cookie, juice and face painting.

"This is my first year doing the pumpkin patch," Velasco said.

The annual event met a pandemic induced hiatus last year. But Friday's event was treated with near-perfect weather for the outdoor event. PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Jessica Velasco, center, tends to the goat Ding-a-ling during the Gervais High School FFA annual pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15.

"It's been fun, especially since school is going on inside and we get to be out here chilling in the fresh air," Velasco said.

Gervais senior Dresen Ferschweiler has helped out at a few of these FFA events over the years.

"We are able to do a lot of the things we normally do," Ferschweiler said. "The only difference is we ask people to keep their masks on. When they go into the barn and get cookies and juice, obviously they won't have them on for that part."

Gervais FFA advisor Megan Dilson said pandemic aside, the main potential snag in hosting this year's event was the weather. This past summer's heatwave crimped pumpkin crops around the region, but the Egger family, which has a Sauvie Island pumpkin patch, and more locally situated Autumn Harvest stepped up and furnished the fruits that saved the day. PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Pumpkins and alpacas alike were popular features at the Gervais High School FFA annual pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15.

Overall, it was a welcome unfolding for the Gervais community.

"An event like this where the high school students can set things up and we bring in pre-school and daycare kids and elementary school students is really important for our community," Gervais High School Assistant Principal Andrew Aman said. "It makes us more like a family. After everything that's happened, it's good to see the school getting back to some of our traditions."

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - The petting portion of the Gervais High School FFA annual pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15.

Photo Gallery

To view photos of the Gervais High School FFA pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15, visit the Woodburn Independent Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WoodburnIndependent

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Alpaca powwow during the Gervais High School FFA annual pumpkin patch held Friday, Oct. 15.


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