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Watsonville students have a ball at Jimmy’s Pumpkins

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23rd, 2013

Watsonville High School student Juan Tapia enjoys selecting a pumpkin from Jimmy's Pumpkins on East Lake Avenue Wednesday during a special field trip. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Special education students from Watsonville High School got a colorful treat Wednesday with a field trip to Jimmy’s Pumpkins, a pumpkin patch near the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

About a dozen students got to wander through the spooky grounds in the fog-shrouded morning where gravestones and skeletons studded the hay-covered landscape.

Each student was able to choose two pumpkins to take home, which they loaded into red Radio Flyer wagons.

“The students love this,” said instructor Jill Beckman, who has held her post for the past two years. “They love handling the pumpkins. This means a lot to all of us.”

The patch features a wall of corn stalks, black cutouts of cats and witches, toy rats and creepy skulls lying about. Halloween themed music, like “The Monster Mash,” and “Ghost Busters,” plays from speakers situated around the grounds. Life-size skeletons welcome visitors to the patch who must pass beneath a large arch that covers several gravesites and a huge black cat and a sprinkling of spiders dangling from their webs.

Beneath a canopy, proprietor Jimmy Dutra has arranged tables that feature games and activities for children.

Several varieties of organic pumpkins, all grown at Dutra Farms in Watsonville, are lined up on a sloping hill. Priced by size, the pumpkins range from 50 cents for super-small to $15 for large ones.

Dutra said he plans on donating part of his proceeds to schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

Anyone purchasing a pumpkin can designate money to go to a school of their choice.

Jimmy's Pumpkins, situated on East Lake Avenue between St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School and the fairgrounds, is open from 11 a.m. to sunset seven days a week.

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