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Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm offers family fun, benefits local charity

Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm highlighted Make-A-Wish Foundation in its 2015 corn maze design. The Bishop family says it selects deserving charities that serve the Sacramento and Wheatland areas for its designs. This year, the Bishops chose the Wheatland Elementary School District Renaissance Program.
Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm highlighted Make-A-Wish Foundation in its 2015 corn maze design. The Bishop family says it selects deserving charities that serve the Sacramento and Wheatland areas for its designs. This year, the Bishops chose the Wheatland Elementary School District Renaissance Program. Joseph Matthew Photography

The mom and pop feel of Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland is welcoming. From their humble beginnings in the 1930s to today, the Bishops provide a fun space for area families.

Beginning Sept. 17, families and friends can enjoy (and possibly get lost) in a 2 1/2- acre corn maze highlighting a local charity.

“We decide as a family,” Meghan Bishop-Sanderson said about the process to pick a charity. There is no application process, she said.

This year, the Bishops chose the Wheatland Elementary School District Renaissance Program, an awards-based program that encourages students to earn good grades and achieve excellent attendance. Certificates of achievement and T-shirts are given to deserving students each trimester during a rally when the Wheatland Elementary School gym is filled with students and staff, chanting and cheering.

“You can see the improvement the program has made overall,” Bishop-Sanderson said. A portion of the pumpkin farm ticket sales during the last weekend of September will be given to the program.

The Bishops do not use high-tech equipment to design the corn maze. The seeds are planted the last few weeks of July, and family and crew map out 2-foot squares of the crop once the plants become tall enough. Two days are devoted to trimming and cutting the plants accordingly to create the design, square by square.

“Some farms use a GPS tractor, but we are old-fashioned,” Bishop-Sanderson said.

The farm is best known for not only the maze but also pumpkin picking. With about 90 acres of pumpkins, families are sure to find the right one.

“We have been open so long that there’s a lot of generations that continue to come back,” Bishop-Sanderson said. “I just love what we do and what we provide for families.”

The farm will be open to the public Saturday, Sept. 17, through Halloween, with hours of operation varying between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Families can enjoy a petting zoo, hayrides, pony and carousel rides. Admission and parking prices vary day to day. For more information, go to www.bishopspumpkinfarm.com.

Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @JesserPea

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