Community comes together to rebuild farm destroyed by flooding

Vernon County residents are coming together to help one family rebuild their farm after it was destroyed by flooding a little more than a month ago.

Tucker and Becky’s Pumpkin Patch has been a staple in Cashton for over a decade.

Every year, families come down to pet animals, hang out with friends and, of course, pick their own pumpkins.

Normally, the farm’s owners, Becky and Tucker Gretebeck, show the community a good time, but this year it’s the community that’s helping them.

“This farm has been in my family. Our kids will be (the) fifth generation,” Becky Gretebeck said.

Becky Gretebeck was born and raised on her family’s farm.

“It’s where I grew up. This valley, this area is where I used to go hide when I was growing up. If I was having a bad day, this is where I could come and reset myself.”

Because of heavy rainfall the last week of August, a nearby dam failed, releasing a ton of water onto her family farm.

“We lost the pumpkins. We lost five buildings, including a 115-year-old shed. That one hurt more than anything,” Becky Gretebeck said.

In a flash, the barn that contained many of her childhood memories was gone.

“It’s a tough physical and financial loss, but it was a bit of an emotional blow as well,” Becky Gretebeck said.

Her husband, Tucker Gretebeck, was left speechless.

“Your heart sinks,” Tucker Gretebeck said.

To help the Gretebecks rebuild, their friends are throwing a fundraising event.

“Everybody’s picking us up, and that’s what we needed,” Tucker Gretebeck said.

Andrew Westrich, a family friend, said, “The hope here is that we get enough people out here that we can help them rebuild down here so communities and generations to come can have fun in this amazing valley that they’ve got.”

Even though the Gretebecks lost everything, they’re still hopeful for the future.

“This hillside’s still the same, the field’s still the same. We can build off of what’s here,” Tucker Gretebeck said.

“I think our goal is we’ll be back next year with some sort of a pumpkin patch,” Becky Gretebeck said.

“I don’t feel like I’m done by any means. I’m still young yet. We’ve got a lot of ideas that we didn’t do before, and maybe it’ll be bigger and better; and as long as it feels right, I think that’s the way we’re going to go,” Tucker Gretebeck said.

Tucker Gretebeck tells me he’s considering potentially rebuilding the farm as a mining or old western town.

If you would like to attend the benefit, you can go to their farm at 7649 Oboe Ave. in Cashton tomorrow morning starting at 11:00 a.m.

There will be food, beer, live music, a silent auction and, of course, plenty of pumpkins.

If you would like to help out but can’t attend the event, you can donate online.