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Morton Times-News - Morton, IL
  • Ackerman Farms in the spotlight

  • Ackerman Farms has been providing Morton and the surrounding areas with pumpkins for 12 years, and all the goes into creating those pumpkins will be shown on a Canadian TV show soon. The show, “Pitchin’ In,” was filmed at the farm starting Oct. 16. The show&#...
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  • Ackerman Farms has been providing Morton and the surrounding areas with pumpkins for 12 years, and all the goes into creating those pumpkins will be shown on a Canadian TV show soon.
    The show, “Pitchin’ In,” was filmed at the farm starting Oct. 16.
    The show’s chef, Lynn Crawford, makes a deal with each person on the different episodes. She has to do regular labor around the farms and then she cooks for the hosts.
    During the shoot at Ackerman Farms, Crawford helped owner John Ackerman lift the giant pumpkins, wash pumpkins and pitch and spread manure.
    “It was fun. It was kind of light-hearted and enjoyable,” Ackerman said. “We put her to the test. It was funny because she was really chipper and enthusiastic and really fun.”
    Ackerman said the entire experience was enjoyable.
    “The whole experience was just fascinating. The people, the whole film crew … they were all just nice people and it was a really enjoyable experience,” he said. “The chef was amazing. She did things with pumpkins that I had no idea you could do. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.”
    Crawford made John and Eve Ackerman, along with some pumpkin chuckers, a three-course meal.
    The first course was a lobster bisque with a pumpkin base and cooked in a pumpkin bowl. The second course was a lobster salad with raw, shaved pumpkin and the main course was glazed ham with a pumpkin and maple glaze over a pumpkin puree with roasted pumpkin and pumpkin pasta.
    Ackerman said the meal was his favorite part, but working with the chef was also a lot of fun.
    “She’s a hoot. She’s like the kid sister I never had. She’s really enthusiastic and she really seemed to appreciate it,” he said. “I’m really enthusiastic about pumpkins. I am a proclaimed pumpkin geek. I love what I do and I think it shows and she loves what she does and that obviously shows. It was a lot of fun.”
    Ackerman said the filming for the show was very natural.
    “They had some suggestions and ideas for jobs we could do and I would point out that some of them, it would be obvious to viewers that we wouldn’t do it at this time of the year,” Ackerman said. “So, everything we did was appropriate and it was the things that we do around this time.”
    The show will air on Canada television and if an American TV station picks it up, it will air in the states.
    “It was so neat. It’s always surprising to me when we get attention out here because really, we’re just a small family-working farm. That’s what we do,” Ackerman said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The self-proclaimed pumpkin geek said he feels successful in his field of choice.
    “I’m very happy with it because I love what I do. If success is measured in absolute dollars, well I don’t know. If success is measured by how much you love what you do, then it’s an absolute success,” he said.
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