Maley’s Farm – If you look at the Fairbury farming community from the air, these flat lands of north central Illinois would resemble a checker board of crop arrangements that, from a ways up, would be pretty much “ho hum”. But, there is at least one spot out to the northwest of Fairbury that has a good bit of color to it and this would be Maley’s Farm – the color comes from their fields of pumpkins, gourds, and other fall maturities that this farming family harvests and then makes available for the decorating public of the surrounding area. Many of us, and we mean a good many of us, have made the annual visit to the Maley families barnyard to do a bit of oohing and awing at the variety, the sizes, and the shapes of these home grown vegetables aka decorative fall arrangement essentials.
The Maley Menagerie is everywhere out there, on hay racks in the barnyard, inside the barn on racks and shelves and pallets and the collection is arranged for us to inspect, choose, and then grunt a bit getting our selections into our vehicle. Don’t let that worry you though, because you can park reasonably close to your targets and there are a few wagons and such to assist in getting some of those bigger specimens to the loading point. Inside the barn there are also little bales of straw and other decorative items that will inspire many an idea for home front arrangements and the prices are well posted so when you’ve completed your collection you just go pay for it! Cash or checks are accepted.
Even if you’re not in the market, this pumpkin and associates collection is worth browsing through – it is a rather awesome site. From big to small with different surface textures and colors (yeah, pumpkins aren’t just orange) you are bound to find the perfect Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween as well as the mainstay for that neat arrangement you want to create there by the garage door or on the front porch. The gourds are many and colorful and there is so much to choose from the biggest problem is going to be just figuring out which ones you “really” want. It is all set up in a true to form farming backdrop with cats and dogs, trucks and tractors, and its just a neat place for the kids as well as the adults – if you haven’t been then you need to go and if you have been, then you know what we’re talking about.
The farm is located at 11065 North 2000 East Road – go north out of Fairbury on First Street and take the first mile road west and then follow the mile road signs – you should also see a “Pumpkin” sign as well. It isn’t far and it sure is well worth the going – Happy Hunting!