Richard Schmitt operates Silver Valley Farm, where families can go for a pumpkin patch, corn maze and other fall activities. Learn more by visiting www.silvervalleyllc.com.
It’s a new pumpkin patch?
Yes, we originally had a lot on the corner of Pyramid and Los Altos for a couple of years there, and the whole plan was to move it out to the farm.
Where is it?
I’m right off of Pyramid. I think it’s about 15 miles north of the Nugget, where Pyramid starts. … It’s 3995 Bacon Rind Road.
Every grocery store has pumpkins for sale. Why would people want to take a drive up there?
To put it in a nutshell, it’s about the kids. Get them out in the fall season, getting out to enjoy and have fun with what’s out there. You can go to the grocery store and get your typical pumpkin. We have about 45 different varieties—a lot of them that people have never seen before. … We also have a lot of entertainment that’s fun for the kids. We’ve got everything from the classics, the hayrides, the corn maze. The corn maze takes a couple of hours to get through. It’s pretty intense. We also have bounce houses. We also have a huge obstacle course. I think it’s a 65-foot-long obstacle course that you can run both directions—for the kids. … We have a 30-foot-tall slide, that’s just massive, that the kids go crazy for. We have a mining flume that’s about 300 feet worth of area … with a mill and everything. Kids get to pan for gold in that. We have a giant mining tire jungle that has massive mining tires they get to climb on.
What food are you offering?
We do a little bit of concessions. It’s nothing crazy, though. … We do cotton candy, caramel apples, popcorn and drinks and whatnot—just to keep everyone from getting too hungry if they’re out there having fun. A lot of families will come out for the full day.
Do the drinks include beer or wine or anything?
No. We don’t do alcohol. We try to keep it focused on the kids.
That’s nice. So, give me some pro-tips when picking out a pumpkin?
Well, it really just comes down to aesthetics and what people are looking for in the look of the pumpkin—because we have so many different ones. We have all different kinds of colors, different shapes, I mean, just everything you can think of. It’s really a scavenger hunt. You go out there, and there’s five acres of pumpkins, and you can just go to town on seeing everything that’s out there. We have everything from very large pumpkins to skinny and long pumpkins. We have orange pumpkins, pink pumpkins, blue pumpkins. If you can think of it, we’ve got it, basically.
What’s the biggest pumpkin you’ve got out there?
Well, I think as far as ones that you can get for everybody, we’ve got some out there that are probably 60, 70 pounds. … And we’ve got ones with massive stems on them. I have ones with stems that are up to six inches across. They’re huge. Like I said, it’s kind of a free-for-all.
When you had the lot in town, were you still running the farm out there?
Yeah … so, half of the farm is still a Christmas tree farm. That’s why I originally started that farm. I have the first choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm here. It takes obviously several years to grow trees, especially here in Nevada. So we have, probably, a few more years before we open that side to the public.