Go Nuts for Fall
By Daniella DiRienzo
It’s finally fall, y’all! Make way for colorful foliage and cool, crisp fall temperatures. The change in weather isn’t the only thing there is to love about the season. There’s also the slew of quintessential activities that come along with it, like visits to pumpkin patches and corn mazes. And don’t forget about the variety of fall festivals hosted throughout the state. In Mitchell Farms, you’ll find all your favorite fall festivities, plus the state’s annual Peanut Festival!
Mitchell Farms is located in the small town of Collins, which is about an hour from Jackson. A real working farm, Mitchell Farms has been growing row-crops since it was established back in 1960. With each passing decade, more crops were added to the farm’s fields. In the 1970s, it was peanuts, and in the 1980s, vegetables. Today, the 1500-acre farm features a variety of crops, producing a plentiful harvest and the perfect setting for family fun. One of the farm’s owners, Jo Lynn Mitchell, explained, “I think our visitors enjoy seeing a real farm. They enjoy playing with their children on the farm and making memories.”
Fall Fun for Everyone
When it comes to fall fun, Mitchell Farms doesn’t disappoint. In addition to seasonal standards, like a pumpkin patch and 6-acre corn maze, the farm features lots of other ways to keep the entire family entertained. For kids (and kids at heart), there are play areas, jumping pillows, super slides, rope swings, an animal barn, train ride, and gem mining. Tours of the farm’s production facility and historic log cabins, which are stuffed to the brim with antiques, are sure to delight the young and old alike. “Visitors love to tour our old log cabins and see the equipment and tools used years ago,” said Jo Lynn. A great choice for your family’s annual fall outing, Mitchell Farms is continually growing. Jo Lynn went on, “We have added a couple of new playhouses that are a bird house and a replica of our Banquet Barn for the children to play in. We plan to add something new every year to entertain children and adults of every age.”
Make a Plan for Your Clan
At Mitchell Farms, the fall season runs from September 28th to November 10th. During that time, the farm is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for visitors ages 2 and up. With over 40 varieties, the pumpkins are plentiful and ready for pickin’, but pumpkins aren’t all you can pick while at the farm. Green and dry peanuts, boiled peanuts, peanut brittle, sweet potatoes, fresh honey, and homemade jams and jellies are also available for purchase.
From Festivities to Fest
To really take advantage of all Mitchell Farms has to offer, plan to visit when the farm is hosting its annual fest, the Peanut Festival. The much-anticipated event is held the first weekend of October, so this year’s festivities will take place on Saturday, October 5th from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, October 6th from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. At the festival, the peanuts are plentiful, but peanuts aren’t all there is to the annual event. Vendors from all over the South play a big role in the fest. “We started the Peanut Festival to highlight our peanuts and give vendors an opportunity to display and sell their crafts,” explained Jo Lynn. She continued, “Since we started, it’s grown
from 40 vendors to over 100. People enjoy staying at the farm all day and shopping with vendors while their children play.” In addition to filling up on peanuts and browsing vendor booths, selling arts and crafts, yard art, boutique clothing, jewelry, swings, rockers, and other unique gift items, there’s live entertainment and plenty of food for visitors to enjoy. Admission to the festival is $12 for attendees 2 and older. The best part is that the admission price covers a visit to the pumpkin patch, too. So technically you’ll be saving money by attending the festival.
A family outing to Mitchell Farms is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Mark your calendar and make this fall one of your clan’s most memorable, and possibly, the start of a new tradition.
Daniella DiRienzo is a self-proclaimed southerner who graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011 and has been working as a freelance writer ever since.