Jeff, Liz, Cary, Vayda, and Eli
For fun, here are a few of their fav-o-rite things…..
JEFF - Red Oak beer, wife’s cooking, homegrown garden vegetables, daily dose of peanuts, air conditioning, flying, Yankees baseball, most anything wife and kids are into, watching a Parrish pumpkin plant grow, family traditions, & living where ancestors did and continuing to be a resident of Dundas.
LIZ - dogs, summer vegetable canning, Virginia wine, watching PBS, QVC, and old game shows, oysters, jelly bellys, ice cream, beet salads, chips and salsa, reading newspapers & magazines, listening to WFLO, daffodils, snowfalls, hanging clothes on the clothesline, & listening to her favorite music turned up loud.
VAYDA - musical theater, front porch swinging, iced coffee, Yankees baseball. Dundas sunsets, William&Mary, reading on rainy days, Jeopardy!, state capitals, champagne, Broadway history, editorial writing, autumn, nighttime jazz, NYC, church camp, hot lemon water, train rides, kayaking, oysters, & boutique hotels.
ELI - Horsepower, Dundas, Mack trucks, 4 seam heat, slow pitch softball, tractors, Red Wing boots, mesh back hats, Lake Gaston, straight planted rows of corn, conversations with all walks of life, Kenny Chesney & Virginia Tech Agronomy.
CARY - baseball (Yankees), golf, hokie football, throwing curve/knuckleballs, Aaron Judge home runs, movies & all genres of music.
Established in 2009, the Parrish Pumpkin Patch venture has evolved into a successful, seasonal business that the family takes great pride in. Jeff and Liz have lived on their 58-acre farm for 23 years, where Jeff’s dad, Wayne, was born, raised and after marrying Joan, operated a dairy farm. Parrishes5 is made up of Jeff the patriarch, Liz the matriarch, Eli the eldest son and HOKIE, Cary the baby boy and high school SENIOR, and Vayda, the William & Mary grad and newfound New Yorker. Each play a vital role in making their farm have such charm. Jeff and the boys are 3rd and 4th generation laborers and lovers of their land. (Liz & Vayda labor and love it equally) In May, Jeff & Liz conjure up corn maze ideas and soon after, the favorite idea is designed and cut. Also in May, the seeds are selected - roughly 10k this year. Seed sowing by hand begins in June and is staggered throughout July based on the many varieties and the time it takes each to
Later in July, the developing plants are transferred to the pumpkin patch as they reach the “right size.” Lots of labor follows until the marathon month of October arrives. All of the other details come somewhere in between.
The family’s favorite part of the May-November process is the PEOPLE along the journey; their supporters and staff, returning faithfuls and all of the newcomers, young and old. But especially, the gratification felt by being able to run the business at their farm, where at the end of each draining day, they can take a short walk to the back door of their humble abode, and crash.