Bolin Grove Farms is always a busy place in the fall.
The 40-acre family owned and operated farm located at 4428 Getwell Road South in Hernando will sell over 2,000 pumpkins in the next week or so and probably be visited by over 1,000 people looking for the perfect gourd to carve into a Jack o’ Lantern.
“Fall is our busiest time - that and summer for our U pick ‘em berries,” said owner and founder Walter Roop. “We have about five acres of pumpkins.”
This year, Roop said Bolin Grove Farms is excited to be adding a special Halloween event on Friday and Saturday nights. For $15, families can fill a car load of people and drive on out to the farm for a haunted “Spooktacular” trick-or-treat.
Visitors will be greeted at the pumpkin barn by Herman Munster, America’s favorite lovable Frankenstein monster and dad to Eddie.
Each carload will then drive through the farm with their headlights on where they will encounter the “Werewolf in London” in the woods, the Mummy, the Swamp Monster, and a few other characters in costume who will be roaming around.
“Basically, you will trick or treat through the property right in your car,” Roop said. “Kids can wear a costume if they want to. We’ll have people dressed in costume. But it will all be family friendly. Nobody is going to jump out and scare you. It will just be fun. And you will get $5 off if they buy a pumpkin.”
The Halloween “Spooktacular” is just the latest fun-filled activity for families to do at Bolin Grove Farms. Roop said the property is still a work in progress and they are busy adding more features to come in the near future, everything from a U pick tulip garden, apples, a petting zoo, Easter Egg Hunt, and eventually even some horses and riding trails.
“My vision is to have a farm in DeSoto County where you plant, grow and harvest,” Roop said. “And to have a place that is affordable where families can come and have a birthday party, or young couples can come and get married and enjoy all this green space.”
Bolin Grove Farms is a dream come true for Roop, who grew up on the property. His grandparents, Walter and Jimmie Bolin, started the farm in 1959 and lived there for almost 40 years.
“He owned all of this land and put in Bolin Road,” Roop said. ‘He had 150 head of Black Angus cattle. I grew up in the house right before you get to Bolin Road. My granddaddy was my mentor.”
When his grandparents passed away, the farm was handed down to their three daughters - Norma, Patsy, and Kay.
“My mother, Norma, was one of the Bolin sisters,” Roop said.
Roop said when no other family member showed interest in keeping the land, he stepped in and bought the current 40 acres three years ago with the intention of keeping it a farm as a way of honoring his grandparents and the three Bolin sisters.
“I wanted to keep this 40 acres because it is special to me,” Roop said. “And I wanted a place as a refuge for our family. I have a business up in Germantown. But we come here on weekends.”
The land was nothing more than solid woods and kudzu. Roop and his son, Tyler, spent years grooming the land.
Today, Bolin Grove Farms offers U-pick pumpkins, blueberries, raspberries, muscadines, and a fruit tree farm.
“I have the sweetest blueberries and raspberries you have ever eaten,” Roop said. “And I have 60 apple trees with five varieties of apples. I will add another 25 trees in November. Next year, I will have apples. But in three years, I will have an abundance of apples.”
The farm also has three bee hives that produce their own honey, and farm fresh eggs from the “hen den” chicken coop. The chickens and hens are watched over by “Huckleberry,” a giant, friendly Great Pyrenees dog who keeps the critters away.
The main house on the property serves as an outdoor wedding and party venue with a double garage, an outdoor kitchen patio, fire pit, and nearby picnic pavilion, all overlooking a lake stocked with fish and a 64-foot pier to sink a line from. They even provide the fishing tackle for up to 20 fishermen.
“I have two pound Bluegill,” Roop said. “I have five pound Bass. We let them take the Bluegill. Right now it is catch and release on the bass until they get up to ten pounds.”
Roop is putting the finishing touches on an entertainment building with a one bedroom upstairs apartment complete with a great room, kitchen, and deck with a sprawling view of the apple orchards and future tulip garden.
“It’s designed for entertainment,” Roop said. “If somebody is getting married, the guys can hang out up here on the deck.”
Bolin Grove Farms also hosts interactive field trips where school kids can learn how pumpkins and blueberries grow, the life cycle of a fruit tree, or how honey bees make honey.
“There really is no place like it,” Roop said. “We have a lot of activities to do here for parties. All the parents have to do is bring the hamburgers or catered food. We even provide the fishing poles. A family can take their kids here fishing and grill out and have fun.”
Roop said Bolin Grove Farms is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun - and a labor of love for him.
“This is for my mother and grandparents,” Roop said. “They wanted this. It is a big investment. The first couple of years I’ve been pumping a whole lot of money into it. But it is a dream come true for me and a wonderful way to honor them because they loved this land. And it’s something for me to give back to the community too.”