A local farm just outside Peoria is entertaining guests with an extensive array of activities and growing wide varieties of fall produce.
Ackerman Family Farms, located in Morton, is a destination for anyone looking to pick a pumpkin or enjoy family-friendly fun. The place is run by a family who has deep roots with the farm and the community.
Ackerman Family Farms started in 1909 with quite a unique story, according to the owner.
“A little over 109 years, ago my great grandfather rode behind a buckboard with 1,600 silver dollar coins and purchased the land,” owner John Ackerman said.
The farm is not like any other in central Illinois during this season. It is more homegrown and authentically family-oriented, with fourth and fifth generations of Ackermans still working on the farm today.
“We are a smaller, family farm and [we are] not a huge commercialized farm attraction around the area,” Ackerman said. “When people come here they experience a true family farm in operation and can see the history dating back to my great grandfather.”
The farm offers pumpkin picking, a corn maze, a hay rack ride on the weekends and a gift shop converted from an old farm building. The gift shop sells seasonal food and drinks and home decorations.
During the week, the farm holds field trips for school kids and a petting zoo on the weekends. According to their website, they grow over 150 varieties of pumpkins, gourds and squash.
Most of all, what John Ackerman values the most is the rich history of the farm and its impact on his life and others.
“The best memory from the farm is working side by side with my parents all those years,” Ackerman said. “The generations of my great grandfather, my grandfather and my father working on the farm and now me is pretty special.”
Ackerman Family Farms offers a rich experience that some other competitors cannot emulate. The authenticity of it being a working family farm gives it a more lucrative pull than normal and with its rich history being over a hundred years, it is easy to see how the farm has lasted this long.
Ackerman Family Farms is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Their last day of operation for the season will be on Halloween.