Matt Roloff Reveals 'Big' Changes Coming to Pumpkin Season on Family Farm amid COVID-19
"The good news is we are gonna open! We're gonna open for our pumpkin festival, but it's going to look very, very different," Matt Roloff says
Big changes are coming to Roloff Farms this fall.
Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Little People, Big World star Matt Roloff has implemented new safety protocols and guidelines at his family's farm, where visitors come annually from near and far to pick pumpkins every fall.
In a "big news" Instagram video on Friday, Matt, 58, confirmed that the Oregon farm will be open to the public for fans to visit and celebrate the harvest season — but it's going to look different than in years past.
"We've got a big announcement. The family has been scratching our heads, we've been beating ourselves up. Meeting after meeting talking about this COVID and the Roloff Farms pumpkin patch. So we have finally, finally, and I'm here to tell you, come to some definitive, conclusions about what we're gonna do," began Matt, whose ex-wife, Amy Roloff, and their four grown children — twins Jeremy and Zach, 30, daughter Molly, 27, and son Jacob, 23 — were first introduced to TLC audiences in 2006 on their reality show.
"And the good news is we are gonna open! We're gonna open for our pumpkin festival, but it's going to look very, very different — extraordinarily different than any years past," he continued.
For those who have visited the farm before and "have an expectation, this year, we think it's going to be just as good," Matt said, "but it's going to be our COVID version of the pumpkin festival."
What exactly does that entail?
"It's going to take place in a more intimate setting, although we're going to stretch out," he explained. "We're going to give everybody access to a walking trail here on the farm," which is something they've "never done" before. "Never let everybody kind of walk into this area of the farm. They've seen some of it from a distance on the wagon tours."
But there's one catch.
"You've gotta make a reservation," said Matt, who directed viewers to the farm's website.
"There's gonna be a fee involved. Yes, I know in the past we've always opened the farm with no charge, no parking fee, but this year's going to be different," he added.
Upon arriving at the farm, reservation holders will "show up at the gate" and "show your barcode," to be let in.
Then, visitors will be directed to a walking trail, where they will see "some cool things," including "some brand new surprises that are very cool," Matt teased. "Kids are going to love it and all of our play zone and our wagon tours are put away for the season until COVID is over. This is a low-touch, highly safe way to get out, stretch your legs," and "get some fresh air with the family."
The farm will open Oct. 2 — when the family is "reasonably certain the air will be fresh" in the wake of the disastrous wildfires that have ravaged the west coast.
"You can come out with your family and do the walking tour, 90 minutes to two hours here and then we're gonna get a new group of people that are gonna come in and be able to do that," Matt said.
Though the length of the trail is about a quarter of a mile, Matt advised that "it is not really recommended for people like me that have mobility limitations or wheelchairs" due to it being a dirt/gravel path.
"Come out, do this quarter mile loop ... meet as many of the family members as we can possibly get out here safely," he encouraged fans.
Matt also assured his followers that the changes are "all about keeping you safe, keeping the Roloff family safe, and our staff safe."
"We're going to have disinfectant stations and everybody we're going to require to wear a mask, so don't come out if you're not ready to wear a mask, even when you're walking outside," he continued, noting that the staff will also be required to wear masks.
"It's going to be a good time! It's going to be different than before, but it's going to be a good time, " said Matt, who concluded: "I hope to see you out here starting Oct. 2. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the month of October, come to Roloff Farm," before the camera panned to showcase the farm.
As seen on Little People, Big World, pumpkin season on the farm is an exciting and busy time of year for the reality star family.
But amid the hustle and bustle, they always make time to take a family photo.
"Best part about Pumpkin Season. The traditional family photo. So happy Molly and Joel came to town to say happy Birthday to me :)))" Matt posted a photo in October 2018 of the family sitting in front of the pumpkin patch sign.
"It was a special moment on a big day for Roloff farm 2019. we Beat all the past attendance numbers. However we totally Missed molly and Joel but that will teach them. Be here or be square... next year. Lol. Roloff Farms Pumpkin Season 2019 is officially under way. And what a start we had. Today the strongest showing of guests on a opening friday so far. Thanks @amyjroloff @audreyroloff @jeremyroloff @toriroloff @zroloff07 @carynchandler1 @artbyizzyrock @jacobroloff45 for all being here to cheer on the family legacy :))" Matt wrote in part alongside a group snap.
In February, after 30 years on the farm, Amy, 56, said goodbye as she moved into her new home.
“I’m thrilled to see some light at the end of this long journey of moving, purging, packing and moving into my new house. Woohoo!” Amy said on Instagram. “Sometimes I don’t know whether to jump up and yell ‘Hooray’ or cry. I do know I feel relieved. More adventures to explore, plan for all the while being grateful.”