In eighth grade, David Vierra took a field trip to Apple Hill that changed his life. He returned determined to grow pumpkins, and at age 13 he began his first patch. That passion hasn’t waned in the last two decades—the fifth-generation farmer still cultivates a more than 2-acre patch, where gourds of many varieties and sizes await plucking. David also tends to his grandfather’s garden and 800 acres of specialty vegetables such as heirloom tomatoes, black seedless watermelons, and six varieties of hard squash.
Though he maintains his farm through hard work, Dave's Pumpkin Patch opens its doors to the public every autumn and, under the name Dave's Xmas Trees, every winter in the spirit of play. The annual Cornival features 12 family-friendly attractions such as pony rides, pig races, a pumpkin cannon that launches gourds 500 yards into the air, and a bunny barn. David’s 10-acre corn maze lures guests on more than 2-mile treks with 85 decision points. From nightfall until midnight, it turns into a haunted maze with lurking scarecrows. Santa Claus makes an appearance during winter activities to pose with visitors for photographs.