(COLORADO SPRINGS) — It’s gourds galore for kindergarten students across the Pikes Peak Region!

Venetucci Farm is welcoming students to the farm to pick out pumpkins as part of their annual Pumpkin Giveaway.

Around 900 kindergarteners will hand-pick and take home pumpkins through October. Students from Carver Elementary School were the first group to come out on Wednesday to find their perfect pumpkin.

The field trip connects kids with the outdoors, teaching them where and how food grows and how they can help take care of the earth.

“Kids aren’t going to care about something that they didn’t have a positive experience in. So that’s really important to the Catamount Institute to create those positive experiences so later in life that they care about the environment and nature,” said Alex Collopy, Director of School Programs with the Catamount Institute.

Students pick out pumpkins at Venetucci Farm
Courtesy: FOX21 Chief Photojournalist Mike Duran

It all started 50 years ago when Nick and Bambi Venetucci opened the fields of their farm, giving pumpkins to thousands of children. And the tradition is still growing strong.

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation inherited Venetucci Farm in 2006 to preserve the property’s legacy and ensure the land is protected forever. They partner with the Catamount Institute to continue to bring generations of students to the farm.

Gather Mountain Blooms continues the Venetucci agricultural legacy by operating
a working flower farm and events space. You can even pick your own flowers on the farm!

Outside of the annual pumpkin giveaway to area kindergartens, Venetucci Farm is hosting its annual Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October. You can explore the pumpkin patch and take hayrides. There’s also a craft fair and games for families to enjoy. It costs $5 to get in and runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 5210 S. US Highway 85, Colorado Springs, CO 80911.