What a wonderous place is Hentze farms. Everything you could want in a local grocer, everything you could hope to see in a local farm. A wonderful place to hang out for the afternoon, to go for a walk, or to shop. The owners and employees/volunteers are helpful and friendly, the animals and farm well cared for. You can tell this is a labor of love and of family.
Every October they have an Octoberfest celebration. This year it was the 22nd and 23rd. We didn’t get to Junction City in time to see it, but I can imagine it is quite the festival knowing the farm. In October, they also have an amazing haunted forest trail that takes you to a carefully cultivated giant pumpkin patch. Select pumpkins are carved with friendly or frightening faces. The pumpkin patch is surrounded by giant sunflowers, rows of corn and the forest you emerge from. Each night, the pumpkins are lit with candles and left to flicker and glow for the evenings guests. Tiki torches are lit and line the trail going to the pumpkin patch and if you don’t want to walk, the hay ride to the patch is FREE! Yup – FREE!
Most people recommend Lone Pine which is about 4 miles further down the highway and it’s right on the highway. We went to both and here are my observations.
- Lone Pine was expensive. The hay ride wasn’t free. The only animals to see were the goats in the goat pens. You couldn’t really interact with them as they were in one of those ‘Place .25 in the slot to feed the goats’ things so I’m not really sure how humane the conditions are. No other livestock could be seen. The pumpkin patch was at the base of some power line towers. Theoretically not a big deal, but certainly distracting. Lone Pine’s setup was definitely more commercial.
- Hentze was more affordable. It’s closer to Junction City and is off the freeway a bit. They have plenty of parking and access is easy. I liked that it wasn’t RIGHT off the highway. Hentze has more animals. There are chickens and roosters, a couple different types of geese, long and short horned cattle, goats running around with the cows (the cows nudge them, it’s super cute. They herd the goats), and lots of friendly dogs roaming around. My favorite was the basset. They have a cool collection of older tractors scattered here and there providing great photo ops. They have princess pumpkins, white pumpkins, mottled pumpkins, big pumpkins, little pumpkins, round pumpkins – if you and your family are looking for a pumpkin – GO TO HENTZE! They have way more of a selection fresh off the vine than I saw at Lone Pine.