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Faith, family and pumpkin fields: Burt’s Farm opens for 50th season
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This month, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm officially opened for its 2022 season on Sept. 1, marking the farm’s fiftieth year of being open. - photo by Erica Jones

In 1972, local couple Johnny and Kathy Burt had the idea to grow and sell pumpkins from their front yard as a way to turn a hobby into a little extra money. In the 50 years since then, what started as a hobby has turned into a family-run business that is a staple of Dawson County: Burt’s Pumpkin Farm. 

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This month, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm officially opened for its 2022 season on Sept. 1, marking the farm’s fiftieth year of being open. - photo by Erica Jones

Today, the Burt family still runs and operates Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, which has grown exponentially each year. Johnny and Kathy’s children, Russell Burt, Cameron Burt and Casey Sanders, all help to run the farm, along with their spouses, cousins, aunts and other family members, making the fall attraction a true family affair. 

“The way it started was in our front yard in 1972 which was right here in front of Amicalola Falls; back then we had probably 300 pumpkins for the whole year,” Russell Burt said. “In 1991 we built the barn down here and that’s whenever everything changed; now we grow about 60 acres of pumpkins or about 150,000 pumpkins so it’s a big difference from where we started.” 

Sanders, who was three when her parents started selling their pumpkins, used to bake and sell pies from her parents’ stand in their yard. When the business expanded and moved to the barn where it is located today, they added a kitchen in the barn to allow for more baked goods to be made on site. Now, the number of pies produced each year has gone from about 10 to about 4,000, with at least that many pumpkin rolls and other pastries too. 

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This month, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm officially opened for its 2022 season on Sept. 1, marking the farm’s fiftieth year of being open. - photo by Erica Jones

While Burt’s Farm has come a long way from where it began, Russell Burt said that the heart behind it is still very much the same. 

“I can remember when I was five I’d get on daddy’s shoulders and we’d walk through the field; it was amazing then and it’s still amazing; I think everybody feels that way when they come up here and we still feel that way too,” Burt said. “One of the major draws is Amicalola Falls; when you take the hayride and you come out up here it’s one of the best views of the falls in the state of Georgia. We’re not trying to sell a pumpkin, we’re trying to sell an experience.” 

Besides family, the other theme central to the farm’s business plan is faith. Even throughout the pandemic and other obstacles, Sanders said that this faith has seen the farm not just survive but continue to thrive. 

“Even through the pandemic everybody came out to see us; we’ve just been incredibly blessed and we’re thankful to God,” Sanders said. “We were very busy this weekend; actually busier than we’ve ever been for an opening weekend. We’re very blessed and feel like God has totally blessed our whole family; we’re just very thankful.” 

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This month, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm officially opened for its 2022 season on Sept. 1, marking the farm’s fiftieth year of being open. - photo by Erica Jones

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, located at 5 Burt's Pumpkin Farm Road, officially opened for its 2022 season on Sept. 1 and will remain open through Nov. 10. The pumpkin patch and store are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the hayride will run on weekends only through Sept. 15 and then every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

For more information about Burt’s Pumpkin Farm, go to https://www.shopburtsfarm.com/, email burtsfarm@gmail.com, or call 706-265-3701.