SEK pumpkin farmer writes children’s book that carries a message for readers

Children’s book author Ruth Zimmerman (right) of McCune hugs Ariana Wood at a recent event.


McCUNE — Sometimes the littlest things can make the biggest difference in someone’s life.

Ruth Zimmerman has shared that message with children who have visited her, her husband, Steve, and their five children at their pumpkin farm near McCune over the last 20 years. 

There, school children or families enjoy old fashioned fun visiting the pumpkin playground, working their way through the six-acre corn maze, riding in the barrel train, visiting the Critter Corral, watching pig and duck races, learning about growing pumpkins and or picking pumpkins.

Now, Mrs. Zimmerman has decided to bring that message to children through a new book, “Rigby Makes a Difference.”

“This is one of five that I have written, but I have never published one before. They are all children’s books. I wanted it to have a message to give kids a reason to read it, not just entertain. I want to have character building and morals to it,” she said. “This one in particular I wrote to encourage them to look up beyond themselves and see what a difference they can make in their little world right now, even though they are young, by encouraging, or helping, or smiling at somebody else to make their day better.

“I always see the pumpkin patch from a person’s point of view and I thought, ‘Huh, it would be cute to see it from a pumpkin’s point of view,’” Mrs. Zimmerman said. “So I sat down and wrote from a little mini pumpkin, Rigby’s, point of view. It was inspired by the many guests we’ve had through all these years.

“Even though Rigby is a fictional character, the book is based upon true events that take place at Hickory Creek Farm every fall,” she said.

In the book, Little Rigby, a miniature pumpkin, experiences the heartbreak of not being chosen by visitors to the pumpkin farm. However, as the story unfolds, he not only learns the value of waiting, but also witnesses the rewards of his patience in making a difference in the life of someone who really needs him.

Zimmerman said she wrote the book about two years ago but hadn’t illustrated it. She approached her niece, Amy Pittman, of Augusta, Georgia, who is the mother of four. When she agreed, Zimmerman thought it was the right time to publish. The illustrations include Mr. and Mrs. Z, whom Pittman drew to look like Steve’s mother and father.

“She has visited this place so much, she knows this place. She drew Mr. and Mrs. Z to look like Steve’s mom and dad, her grandma and grandpa. And, some of the things in it are us, so that made it kind of cool,” Mrs. Zimmerman said.

It was unreal to open the box to reveal a book she had written.

“More than that was putting my name in the search bar on Amazon and finding it,” Mrs. Zimmerman said. “It was kind of exciting, but weird.”

The books are available through or on Amazon.

The books also will be sold at Hickory Creek Farms in McCune this fall beginning Sept. 28, a visit to which allows people to see where and how the book was inspired. And, she said, if people can find her amidst her many duties there, they may be able to talk her into autographing their book.

People may contact Zimmerman if they are interested in her reading to classrooms or other children’s groups.

“I’m challenging kids when they read it to join the Friends of Rigby Club, which is basically, ‘Every day look for an opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life. Even you can make a difference in somebody’s life.’ I hope it will be.”

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