“I told Kevin that I was willing to move, but I wanted him to grow some pumpkins for me,” Linda said. “So we moved to Indiana and grew 2 acres of pumpkins that first year in 1992.”
More than 30 years later, that first pumpkin patch has expanded to one of the premier agritourism destinations in southern Indiana. Every September and October, the Bairds open Cornucopia Farm for visitors to enjoy their homegrown version of fall family fun.
Activities include a u-pick pumpkin patch, sunflower and cut flower patches, wagon rides, a 6-acre corn maze, a 3-acre soybean maze, a petting farm, pumpkin-themed mini golf and much more. Special events during the season include glow mazes, an adults-only date night at the sunflower patch, and the Harvest of Hope Walk & Great Pumpkin Run 5K to raise money for cancer research. That’s in addition to the agriculture production during the summer that includes corn, soybeans, cattle, tomatoes, mums and petunias.
With all that going on, it’s no surprise that Linda and Kevin get a lot of help from their sons and daughters-in-law. Michael and his wife, Valerie, focus on marketing and the retail business, while Jared and wife, Kayla, manage wholesale pumpkins. On weekends during September and October, it’s all hands on deck — everyone helps where needed, along with more than 50 part-time employees.
The Baird family embraces the opportunity to work together on the farm — their family helping other families have fun, make memories and learn about Indiana agriculture along the way.
“We want to provide a high-quality environment where people can have fun as a family, and we can promote agriculture while they’re here,” Michael said. “A lot of people who visit Cornucopia Farm have no relationship to farming or agriculture so we want to be the place where they can have that connection and find that information.”
Kevin enjoys the role of agriculture ambassador, too, visiting with people and explaining what’s involved in getting food from the field to the table.
“If you’ve got questions about agriculture, the best place to get information is to talk to a farmer,” Kevin said. “There’s a lot of wrong information out there so we want to be a resource where people can learn about agriculture.”
Visitors get a hands-on education with a farm-to-table experience at the Cornucopia Café, which offers many items produced from ingredients grown on the farm. Hamburgers are made with beef the Bairds raised. The pumpkin bread and rolls are made from Cornucopia Farm pumpkins. If they don’t grow it locally, the Bairds support other Indiana farmers when possible. The caramel apples and caramel-apple nachos are made with apples from an orchard in northern Indiana.
Throughout the entire experience, Cornucopia Farm promotes Indiana agriculture in a family-friendly atmosphere that’s become a tradition for families in Indiana and beyond for three decades. Every October feels like a big harvest celebration where the Bairds catch up with old friends and make lots of new ones. And that’s when Linda’s teenage dream becomes a reality.
“One time a customer told me that she loved visiting Cornucopia Farm, and I asked her why. She said a cow at the barn had licked her finger and she just loved that so much,” Linda said. “Sometimes it’s the most simple things that move people — things that we get to experience every day at the farm —and we get to share those moments with people.”
Cornucopia Farm will be open Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. through Oct. 29. For more information about hours, special events or to buy tickets, visit CornucopiaFarm.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.