Thursday, October 25, 2012

A "Pumpkin Patch" Marriage Proposal Becomes A Clever Family Affair at Marini Farm

Finding a romantic and unique way to propose to his girlfriend of four years became a brainstorming mission of Charlie Capillo. His girlfriend, Erica Alicandro, was too special for him to do anything ordinary when he knew it was time to ask the love of his life to marry him.

Originally, Charlie thought he would "pop the question" at Christmas, among family and friends, as Erica opened her last gift at a Yankee swap party. However, after Charlie bought the engagement ring, he was too excited to wait three more months to propose! With his head spinning with ideas for an alternative plan, Charlie liked the idea of following a festive theme so Jack-o'-Lanterns, hayrides, Halloween spirit and crisp fall weather all seemed to form a perfect combination for a surprise engagement.

"The idea to carve out the pumpkins was one of the first to pop into my head, mostly because of our love for the season. It all just fell into place." He also liked the timing of an October engagement, as it is their 4th year anniversary on October 25, 2012.

Immediately after sharing the idea with his Aunt, Kathy Capillo, who had recently visited the Marini Farm Corn Maze, the vision started to come to life. "The moment I walked up the hill from the parking lot, I knew Marini Farm was the perfect place," Charlie remarked. "My family and I did a test run of the hayride so I knew I needed help with lighting all those pumpkins."

The preparations became a family affair - and on the perfect setting of a third-generation farm no less. Mike Marini, owner of the family farm, and Kathy Brunner (Maze Marketing Manager), helped with the plans.

Family and friends came the eve of the proposal to prepare all the pumpkins. It took 22 pumpkins, a team of family and friends and more than ten hours of cutting to carve out the words, "Will You Marry Me?". The words were perfectly carved with stencil-like clarity and all the pumpkins were precisely positioned along the first tier of hay on the hayride.

Then, on the night of the proposal, Charlie's aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, cousins and his and Erica's parents returned to the farm to help light all the pumpkins. All had to keep a watchful eye on each word to make sure none of them went out while Charlie was waiting for Erica to arrive.

After meandering the corn maze along with Erica before reaching the designated proposal spot (and even getting lost a few times although Charlie had scoped it out previously), he popped the question.

With no other lights around the all-important question stood out in a row of perfectly carved pumpkins. Erica didn't even know the whole family was there to join them in celebration, until she heard "Congratulations!" yelled upon accepting Charlie's proposal, shouted from all directions.

A few weeks prior to the proposal, Charlie and Erica had visited Ipswich, marveling at the idea of returning for a fall date to one of the Marini Farm Corn Maze "flashlight nights". So it was with that date suggestion he was to bring Erica to the farm for the proposal.

While the intricate carving process was long, "The biggest challenge was actually getting Erica to the Farm that day," Charlie explained. "I had hinted to the idea of visiting the corn maze earlier that week and Erica seemed to like the idea so I thought it was golden. Little did I know that morning it would rain for three hours straight. Around noon, Erica sent me a text asking if we could find something else to do because it was not shaping out to be a good day to be outside. My heart sunk but I played it cool and told her she was right, but maybe the weather would clear up later, which it did. And, it turned out to be a beautiful, but brisk October night."

The couple is hoping to keep the fall country theme alive, with a barn wedding around this time next year. The exact date and venue have yet to be established.

"Organizing the event with the farm couldn't have been easier - Kathy, Mike and Marini Farm will always have a special place in our hearts," Charlie noted, gratefully. "From the moment I told them of my plan, they could not have been more accommodating. They really helped my idea come to life. I could not have done it without their kindness and generosity."

Erica was so stunned by all the organizing that went into the proposal, noting "It was only because of Marini Farm's help that Charlie was able to give me the most amazing proposal a girl could ask for!"

While this was a first engagement event for Marini Farm, some other special happenings at the farm occurred this season, including a 50th birthday celebration that included a hide and seek game in the corn maze. The Marini's are thrilled to be a part of these special events.

written by BloggerPros

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marini Becomes First Farm In The Region To Bring Pink To The Pumpkin Patch

Rows of pink pumpkins are brightening up the pumpkin patches at Marini Farm this fall - in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The farm is donating a percentage of every pink pumpkin sold to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation for cancer cure.

The first farm in the region to sweeten up the pumpkin patch with the bubblegum-colored pumpkins, Marini grew these pink "Porcelain Doll Pumpkins", as they are called, for the first time this year. Besides the different color, these pumpkins also add variety to the palette. As a cross between pumpkin and squash, they have a deep ribbing and a more plump shape, with a sweet flesh which can be used for pies, soups, and other gourmet culinary dishes.

Marini was also the first farm in the region to grow white (or "lunar") pumpkins, which they started producing in 2010. The color is really the only differentiating feature between them and the more traditional orange pumpkins, although the white has been know to make some terrific jack-o-lanterns with glow-in-the-dark effects when properly lighted.

The commitment this year to pink pumpkins is part of Marini's philanthropic efforts to "give back".

"Our grant application committee is looking for qualified breast cancer researchers with a solid program and a high percentage of dollars spent on actual research", said Don Goodwin, president of the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation. "We want to award the monies raised to well-deserving organizations in hopes of getting closer to finding a cure for this devastating disease."

Hundreds of farms across the U.S. are participating in the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation program, and are donating a share of proceeds from every pink pumpkin sold to organizations dedicated to breast cancer research. Based on this year's sales of the pink pumpkin seeds, the foundation anticipates grants awarded to total between $100,000 and $500,000. The organization is urging people to make their pink pumpkins visible on their porches this month to show their support in putting an end to breast cancer.

"With so many families affected by cancer, we wanted to contribute to the cause and show our support to all the families who have been affected", said Mike Marini, owner/operator of Marini Farm. "We feel this program will catch on with all pumpkin growers and will make a difference in providing much needed grant funds for cancer research."

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1,638,910 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012, and about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer. It is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. The future outlook is alarming with about 1 in 8 U.S. women developing invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

Thankfully, these celebrity women survivors (click here for link) are providing hope and inspiration to many and are using their clout to boost breast cancer awareness.

Marini Farm encourages you to think PINK in October and beyond, and support cancer awareness and research. The farm also plans to expand its pink pumpkin patches in the coming years and stay committed to supporting cancer research.

Written by Blogger Pros