Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Shady Knoll Farm

For the past 33 years, the Dennhardt family has provided the Quad Cities community with a home-grown, family friendly pumpkin patch. Shady Knoll Farm, located in East Moline, offers the best of the fall season with pumpkins, a corn maze, and friendly animals.
Shady Knoll Farm is open to the public from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesday through Sunday until Oct. 31. Admission to the pumpkin patch is free, and there are other available activities for a small cost.
Gene Dennhardt, the sixth generation farmer of Shady Knoll Farm, is happy with this year’s pumpkin crop. “The pumpkins are really beautiful this year,” Dennhardt said.
According to Dennhardt, they have pumpkins ranging from miniature to mammoth, upwards to 100 pounds. Shady Knoll Farm’s guests can buy pumpkins that have been pre-picked and staged outside the shed or pick their own from one of two pumpkin patches. The pumpkins range from about one dollar to about 25 dollars, according to Dennhardt. The average pumpkin costs between 5 and 8 dollars.
Shady Knoll is family friendly, the Smice family, from East Moline, has made visiting Shady Knoll a family tradition, visiting the farm for 5 consecutive years.
“My favorite thing is watching Parker pick a pumpkin,” Susie Smice said about her son.
They have made it a rule that their son Parker, 8 years old, can pick any pumpkin he can carry himself, “they have gotten bigger every year,” Rich Smice said. Parker’s second favorite activity at the farm is feeding the goats and sheep.
Beyond pumpkins, Shady Knoll Farm has two corn mazes. One is designed for small children, made out of hay bales, with an admission cost of 2 dollars. The other maze is a five acre, self-guided corn maze with an admission cost of 6 dollars.
The farm also has a field of flowers to pick yourself. You can pick a bouquet of colorful flowers and take them home with you.
When guests are done picking out their pumpkins they can interact with a variety of animals including about 30 sheep, 2 goats, a Mediterranean miniature donkey named E-yore, bunnies and more. They offer 2 dollar bags of oats to hand feed the goats and sheep, and small children can interact with bunnies in ‘Bunnyville’ for 2 dollar admission.
Shelby Link, Dennhardt’s son Christian Dennhardt’s fiancé, loves being on the family farm. Her favorite thing is being around the animals in the peaceful atmosphere. Link believes that the farm’s beautiful backdrop for pictures is one of the Quad Cities best kept secrets.
“It’s beautiful and there are lots of opportunities for photo ops,” Link said.
Dennhardt believes that Shady Knoll Farm is unique. The farm is run by family and has been passed on for 6 generations in the last 150 years. “People can just enjoy the old feeling of grandpa’s farm, you could say, which is quite rare in this day in age,” Dennhardt said.

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Shady Knoll Farm