With the city of Bullard being known originally as a farming community, one of the city’s local farms is celebrating a milestone in its history, as it prepares to open the front gates and welcome tourists and school children on field trips for another year of fall fun.
Moore Farms, a favorite location for many East Texans in the fall known primarily for its vast fields of pumpkins, is located at 22142 CR 181 in Bullard, and is now open for all to come and experience.
The farm is a historic piece of family history for the Moore family, as it has been a part of Lesley’s family since 1917, making it a fifth generation farm celebrating its 100th year in 2017. In addition to its century-long history, the farm has produced either a crop or animal product in each year of its existence.
In addition to owners Cleve and Lesley Moore, the couple’s daughters, Peyton and Lucy, who attend Bullard High School and Bullard Middle School, respectively, also help out on the farm, making the business truly a family affair.
“Our goal is to educate the public about agriculture and farm life, as well as market directly to our customers,” said Cleve Moore. “As we strive to bring the freshest farm produce and the most exciting farm entertainment, we hope people will feel like they are a part of our family tradition and make their own family traditions.”
In 2000, what is now known as Moore Farms began as a dream of Cleve and Lesley Moore to open the farm to the public and educate people through agriculture, called “agritourism,” which has helped to give thousands of school children and visitors throughout the past 16 years a glimpse at the happenings on a working small family farm.
The following year, Moore Farms opened its gates to school field trips. In the first year of allowing school field trips, the farm welcomed over 3,000 students, as well as a large number of parents accompanying their children on the trip.
“When we started Moore Farms,” said Lesley Moore, “we would have never dreamed that it would be something people know us and recognize us for. We always look forward to the fall season and having visitors have a small town farm experience.
While on the field trips, students learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin and the many uses for pumpkins. Students also enjoy an old-fashioned hayride and experience what animals go through pulling a plow to till the land.
In addition, students can also interact with many of the farm animals located in the small farm animal area, including chickens, goats, and pigs, among others.
“We enjoy the school field trips because they are low stress,” said Cleve Moore. “The kids really seem to enjoy all of the farm activities. Every so often, one of the students will come up to me and say they want to be a farmer when they grow up. With less than two percent of the population farming, we will need some new farmers soon.”
The fall season turns Moore Farms into a sea of orange near the end of September and into October, as the fields are full of pumpkins ready for visitors to pick. Guests are encouraged to take a hayride to the “u-pick pumpkin patch,” visit the barn for fall decorations, and enjoy loads family farm fun.
“We mainly have what are considered to be jack-o-lantern pumpkins in our pumpkin patch,” said Lesley Moore. “It’s about five acres filled with pumpkins ranging from basketball-sized on up, and some that are much larger than that. Depending on the year and the Texas weather, each acre will usually yield about 20,000 pounds, and sometimes, we may have to get a few extra because of the amount of visitors we have. For our field trips, we have the pie pumpkins, which are what people usually use to make pumpkin pie with because its smaller and of the sugar variety. I believe most people are amazed at all the different varieties of pumpkins when they come to Moore Farms, more than you usually get at your neighborhood grocery store.”
Cleve Moore said he believes the image of returning back to a simpler time on the farm is what makes Moore Farms a fall attraction each year for school field trip groups and weekend guests.
“We hope to provide a fun and entertaining family business to visitors,” said Cleve Moore. “Most of us have had a family member or distant relative that owned a farm. We’d all go visit the farm and just have fun. People get really excited about getting out of town and going back to the farm.”
In addition to the jack-o-lantern and pie pumpkins available at Moore Farms, visitors can also see other products of the farm, including decorative gourds and pumpkins. Moore Farms also usually has a selection of specialty pumpkins annually, however, the Texas weather caused the specialty pumpkin crop to not grow this year.
Visitors to Moore Farms this season can also have fun scouring the farm’s corn field maze, a new attraction this year featuring paths cut into a 3 ½ acre corn field, which can produce up to 17,000 corn plants per acre, according to the Moores.
Admission to Moore Farms is $10 for ages three and up, which includes a pumpkin, animals, corn field maze, and all the family farm fun available.
Moore Farms is opened to the general public 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays every weekend between the last weekend in September until October 31 annually. With school field trips scheduled during the week, the farm is open by reservation only.
Guests are encouraged to make memories by taking as many pictures with their children as possible.
For more information about Moore Farms, visit www.moorefarms.com, “like” the Moore Farms Facebook page, or call (903) 894-1030.