The Great Hampstead Pumpkin Patch


By Angie Major and Bill Pearson
The annual “Pumpkin Patch” in Hampstead is alive and well at Hampstead United Methodist Church (HUMC) even during this unsettling year. Starting with the famous “Pumpkin Toss” event on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9am and continuing every day until Oct. 31.  The patch welcomes patrons Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The “Pumpkin Patch” is set up on the church’s large front lawn, under the beautiful live Southern Oak trees that form a canopy over the patch. Lights in the trees and fun things for kids to do ensure a magical Fall adventure for all.  

With the location being at the center of Hampstead along US Hwy 17 it gets a lot of visibility and activity.  But what makes the patch so popular are the many repeat customers who have been coming to the patch for years to buy their pumpkins. Their faithful support is such a blessing. Families bring their children to search for the perfect pumpkin and make a party of it with family photos.  It is just a happy and peaceful place.  It holds memories for some, others come to support the church and fundraising, but all have fun.  HUMC is often referred to as the “pumpkin church” but most of the time, we are the church next to Dunkin Donuts.

The HUMC “Pumpkin Patch” is a youth fundraiser run completely by the church and Youth Group welcoming community youth and adult volunteers, but it also involves a small army of nationwide contributors. The process starts with Pumpkins harvested directly from the fields of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico which helps with their 42 percent unemployment rate. The pumpkins are quickly trucked across the USA in a 40-foot semi to the church parking lot which is where the “Pumpkin Toss” unloading event happens on Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.

The “Pumpkin Toss” involves over a hundred volunteers off loading, sizing, and positioning the entire truck load of over 3,000 pumpkins for sale. It takes about 3 hours. These volunteers are not all HUMC members, as with every year, the “all are welcome” community event attracts community members, students from the Topsail High School, baseball, and football teams, Scouting Organizations and our special participants, about 20 Marine volunteers from Camp Lejeune. The Church is honored by and welcomes all the volunteers.

Your pumpkin purchase money is well spent. All the net proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch sale goes to the youth group. The youth group will first tithe 10 percent to the church, then 10 percent to a charity determined by the youth group such as WARM and Habitat for Humanity and the balance is kept by the youth group. The funds enable each youth to be able to go on conference events, mission trips and special occasions, by accumulating “pumpkin bucks” from working in the patch. It is the largest fundraiser of the year for the youth.

There cannot be a more complete and memorable fundraiser than this Pumpkin Patch partnership with the Navajo Indian Reservation, HUMC and our community.  So many people benefit from and enjoy the event with the sale of each pumpkin. Won’t you come and join in?

The Pumpkin Patch has a Facebook page, “HUMC Pumpkin Patch” which posts pictures and announcements. Also find information on and