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In the early 1930's after immigrating to Canada, Farmer Shari's Grandparents, Otto and Ella Gabriel came to live on and purchase the 7 acre homestead property. Otto worked off the farm and it was up to Ella to run the farm and raise their three children, Frieda, Doreen and Alfred.
Ella first raised chickens for market, but in the mid 1940's bought a small dairy herd and began dairy farming. In 1949, Ella and Otto purchased the property where the Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch is currently located. The 20 acre piece of land was farmed for feed( hay and silage) and pasture for the cows.
Ella milked cows until she retired in 1972. Alfred and Joyce Gabriel kept the dairy running and increased their herd size to a small but comfortable 40/50 cow milking herd. Alfred and Joyce raised 4 daughters(Cindi, Erin, Shari & Leah) on this beautiful farm. All 4 girls (including Farmer Shari) were expected to help out daily on the farm and by twelve years old were able to drive tractors and milk cows!
Alf and Joyce Gabriel retired from dairy farming in 1999. The cows and quota were purchased by Erin Gabriel and her husband and they moved the dairy business to a farm in Langley.
Shari(Gabriel) and Chris Tompe took over Gabriel Farms Ltd. in 2001 and Planted their first Pumpkin Patch calling it the Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch for the local Hazelmere Valley where it is located in South Surrey.
Over the years the Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch has grown from the original 2 acre pumpkin field with wagon ride and tiny farm animal area, to 12+ acres of amazing pumpkins and gourds, a mini corn maze, Two large farm animal interaction areas, firetruck and 40' play boat area, Tonka toy play area, tented picnic area and more.
Farmer Chris works hard all year and even though he did not grow up on a farm, with his mechanical, electrical and millwright experience, he is the farms greatest asset. Truly skilled in so many areas Chris is able to design, build and fix everything on the farm. Every year the farm looks better and it is all thanks to Chris's hard work! Thank you Chris!
Farmer Shari has taken her love for agriculture and young children and combined the two to create wonderful educational programs for school groups. Shari completed 3 years at UBC Studying agriculture then switched her focus to Early Childhood Education and completed her ECE in 1999. Farmer Shari is enjoying being an Early Childhood Agriculture Educator(ECAE) and is excited to offer winter and spring tours for teachers and students as well as our original Pumpkin Patch tours! In 2018 Summer Farm Camps for children age 5 to 10 years was added to our farms educational programs. Summer farm camp has been a fun popular addition to our farm! In 2021 we added Spring Break camps and a weekly Farm School Program.
Our Daughter Paige is a big part of our Farm Education Programs and is currently taking online classes to complete her early childhood education.
Although we have grown and become a popular spot to visit , we are farmers first and run a REAL family farm and invite you for a visit for an authentic farm experience, mud and all! Farmers Chris, Shari and kids welcome you to our farm and thank you for your support!
Farmers Chris & Shari, Craig, Paige & Otto