Vandals hit Moorland pumpkin patch

Festival will go on

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter Smashed pumpkins lie in a pumpkin patch that was once a ball diamond in Moorland. Someone came in the night and took several pumpkins, smashed others, and broke sprinklers in the field, Jody Pirie said. She said hopefully there are still enough pumpkins left to have a pumpkin festival for the kids this fall.

MOORLAND — The pumpkin patch on an abandoned ball diamond next to the community center in Moorland is special. The plan is to use the pumpkins in a pumpkin fest for all the kids in town.

But there are fewer pumpkins there now after someone apparently came in the night and smashed them.

“I don’t know how many are left,” Jody Pirie said.

Pirie is one of six members of the park board who planted pumpkins this year. She said some pumpkins were smashed, and some may have been taken. Vines are broken where someone walked on them. And two sprinklers which were out there keeping the pumpkins alive in the dry weather were broken.

One was actually shoved into a smashed pumpkin, she said.

It was a frustrating discovery.

“We’re just trying to do something nice for the town, and someone’s got to ruin it,” Pirie said.

But it’s not getting her down.

“We’re going to plant a bigger pumpkin patch next year, and hope it rains.”

The six members have been doing quite a bit of work on the old Moorland Community Center over the past two years. The ball diamond hasn’t been used for 10 years or more, Pirie said.

This year was a learning experience. Pumpkins planted in the infield didn’t grow well, because the dirt is too compacted; and there wasn’t sufficient irrigation for such a dry year.

“We planted 100 pumpkin hills,” she said. “We ended up with only about 42 total.”

“Next year I’ll get one of these farmers to volunteer to plow it.”

And the pumpkin festival will go on, she said.

“We’ll still have enough for the kids in town,” she said.