SOMERVILLE — Families, farmers and friends headed Sunday to the Pumpkin Vine Family Farm to enjoy pumpkin picking, fresh pressed apple cider, sheep wool spinning and weaving and children’s activities at the farm’s first harvest festival since 2019.

Kelly Payson-Roopchand, who with her family owns and operates the farm at 217 Hewett Road, said the festival was one of their most popular events before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was just a fantastic event,” she said. “The whole community came. We do it to celebrate the harvest season.”

Mushrooms cultivated by Wild Fruitings of Augusta are sold Sunday at the farmers’ market at the Pumpkin Vine Family Farm at 217 Hewett Road in Somerville. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

This year, the family cleared between 1 and 2 acres of forest and created a spot to host the festival, including activities and vendors. Payson-Roopchand said the new space was larger and flatter than the area used for previous harvest festivals.

The “farmer photo booth,” which she said is among the festival’s most popular activities, also returned this year.

“It’s on our hay wagon,” Payson-Roopchand said, “and we have our giant pumpkins. Then you can dress up and be a farmer. We have flannels, suspenders, pitchforks and hats, and we even have goat masks so someone in the family can be a goat while someone else is a farmer.”


She said her family has owned the farm for about 15 years, and while its biggest annual events are an open creamery and “kid hugging,” where visitors can play with baby goats, which are called kids, the harvest festival has seen growing popularity.

Steph Grant, who owns and operates Hawthorn & Thistle Farmstead in Washington, Maine, brought a couple of Jacob sheep to the festival. The sheep are an endangered breed that can grow between two to six horns.

“They are one of the oldest breeds in the world,” Grant said. “They’re mentioned in the Bible, in Genesis.”

Grant said her interest sparked at 10 years old after a teacher taught her to knit. From there, she learned to dye, spin and wash fiber, and eventually built her own drop spindle at home.

Grant demonstrated how to spin yarn, and sold sheep sausage, pumpkins and other gourds and sheep wool products.

Brittany Burbank, who runs B+T Baked Goods of Pittston with her husband, Tim Johnson, sold a variety of baked goods, including fresh bread, pastries, cinnamon rolls, cookies and baguettes. She said B+T’s top-selling product is the cheese stick, which is olive oil and dough rolled in Cabot sharp cheddar cheese and seasonings.

“It should be a great day,” Burbank said. “We’re excited to see everybody.”

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