CHINO VALLEY, AZ - Norman Freeman's boutique pumpkin patch draws in hundreds of visitors every October, but it wasn't until this year that his pumpkins started drawing a different kind of crowd.
"I started experimenting with different breeds in my boutique pumpkin patch. I got some blues, some whites, and then some pink ones. The pink ones sold pretty fast, but I didn't think anything of it," said Freeman.
Those pink pumpkins caught the eye of the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, a national organization that has been helping in the fight against breast cancer since 2012. When Freeman heard about it, he committed to growing an entire pink pumpkin patch to help.
"100 percent of the proceeds from every pink pumpkin sold at Freeman Farms is going to benefit organizations that help breast cancer research. It makes it really worth it," said Freeman.
Freeman Farms in Chino Valley has grown more than 2,000 pink pumpkins this year and is hoping to sell all of them. Over the past couple of weekends, Freeman has been bringing them to patients at the Breast Care Center at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
"This year has been extremely emotional because it really clicked. When I look into the eyes of those who come out here going through treatment it touches pretty deep," said Freeman.
"The pink pumpkins are by far my favorite. I've never seen anything like it," said Reanna Arroyo.
Arroyo took her three kids to Freeman Farms in Chino Valley after hearing about the pink pumpkins while battling breast cancer. She has undergone a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and is finishing up her final treatment of radiation today.
"People don't know me personally that are buying a pumpkin, but in a way, they are helping me personally. Lots of people wouldn't survive breast cancer, but now people are because of foundations like the Pink Pumpkin Patch. Like I said, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for those people going out and making an effort to buy a pumpkin," said Arroyo.
Freeman Farms is open every Saturday and Sunday in October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is also open this Columbus Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.