LOCAL NEWS

Orem Family Doing Whatever Necessary To Stay In Business

Sep 26, 2018, 7:14 PM | Updated: 9:13 pm

OREM, Utah – With land as expensive as ever, it’s getting tougher for farmers to increase business. A Utah County farmers in Utah County has decided to try to do something new.

This is the time of year where we start to take note of ads for pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

No matter where you take your children, it’s always good to be prepared. Especially when you take them to a pumpkin patch in the middle of the day.

“All full of snacks and drinks,” said Chenylle Corbett with a laugh while holding up a bag. “Because they’re always thirsty and hungry.”

Corbett has been to pumpkin patches before with her two young children.

However, Wednesday was their first visit to Wilkerson Farms in Orem.

She found it on the internet, and her 3-year old son, Liam, couldn’t wait to go.

“I showed him the pictures of the swings and of the spinners, because I’ve never seen a pumpkin patch that has either of those,” said Corbett.

It’s certainly a fun way to learn about farming.

Even though she knows that farming lifestyle is getting tougher to find.

“To keep growing is really hard because everything is so expensive,” said Corbett.

It sure is.

Richard Wilkerson, the owner of the farm, was hoping to expand by buying a 5-acre field next to his.

Developers often seem to have more money, though, and medium density housing will soon be built there.

“If you rated from 1 to 10 on the quality of the land, this is like a 9 and a 10. You can grow anything here,” said Wilkerson. “I know that we need houses and I don’t disagree with it, but I wish that we would consider saving some of the highest quality farm ground.”

There’s development all around his farm off 710 West 2000 South in Orem.

He said it’s keeping him from growing his farm.

“If we keep going the way we’re going and taking it for granted, then there’s no way we can hold on,” said Wilkerson when talking about the future of farming. “We’ve got to have people come support it.”

That’s why he created his farm amusement park.

It has a pumpkin patch, corn maze, rides, slides, a shooting range, a tractor ride, and even a farmers market for adults to buy food and drinks.

It’s all in an effort to make a little extra money.

“I think he’s doing a good job. I really do,” said Corbett.

The old saying goes if you build it, they will come.

The question for farmers all across the state is, for how much longer? It would be easier to sell the land than to farm it, but there is a cost beyond money.

Wilkerson feels there’s something to be said about legacy, self-sustainability, and knowing where your food is coming from.

“I want to make sure they have something nice here for not only now, but for the future,” he said.

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