The fall is harvest time. The hustle and bustle around the Pumpkin Patch at Marvin energizes the entire congregation. Organized by the Marvin Men, the Patch draws the attention of motorists and shoppers to the corner of Wheeler and Belair in Martinez.
For the past eight years all ages have come together to unload pumpkins. Some are baby-sized while others are humongous.
Let me describe Marvin’s Corner Pumpkin Patch
First the process of preparing is all the traditional holidays rolled into one. It has the excitement of Christmas mornings, the bounty of Thanksgiving dinners, the awakened splendor of Easter mornings, and the ageless presence of families with all generations working together.
The patch is surrounded by fluorescent orange fencing that went up weeks before. Then the wooden pallets were added. Some have been turned into benches for seating to take pictures while others hold the pumpkins. At the center of the Patch is a cross-shaped pallet that holds pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. There are white pumpkins . . . lumpy and bumpy pumpkins . . . red turban-shaped . . . and patchwork orange and white. Some are long while others look like someone sat on them and went squish.
Last minute preparations
On Saturday the decorators—those with an eye for photographs—came and added scarecrows to the bales of straw stacked throughout the Patch. On Tuesday the mums arrived and the Patch began to come alive. This addition of autumn-colored flowers gave the first signs of life to the Patch. Wednesday the truck from New Mexico arrived with over 2000 pumpkins to be unloaded.
One minute there was a hushed silence in the Patch, and the next minute there were little red wagons, and wheelbarrows, and carts being loaded and moved out across the Patch. The sports teams from Aiken Tech dressed in their practice uniforms worked alongside Girl Scouts and dads and moms and cousins and friends. Our littlest volunteers unpacked the palm-sized pumpkins and gourds and carefully placed them in just the right spot.
Once the work was done all settled down for Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal. Homemade chili that simmered all day and desserts from many home kitchens filled our stomachs.
What’s so special about this Pumpkin Patch? It is more than a collection of pumpkins for sale. It is the love of Christ active in the hearts and souls of a church community willing to share His love with all who come for a pumpkin and to volunteer.