“I’ve been all over the world, and gardened, and traveled, and I always wanted to come back to Arthur, Illinois. I want to be on the land that my family’s had, and create.” ~Mac Condill
Who is this Mac Condill guy anyway?
Mac has taken his childhood fascination with cucurbits and parlayed it into a lifestyle of educating others in the beauty and value of pumpkins, squash and gourds. He has a passion for growing, and always knew that after receiving his education he would return to the Condill farm to make is life here, on the land that has been in his family for 150 years. He makes every effort to promote and support sustainable farming and business practices world-wide while procuring rare and heirloom seeds. He has traveled far and wide to do so including trips to South Africa, Kenya, India, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Mac speaks at countless engagements, workshops and trade shows throughout the US every year and is comfortable speaking on stages of all sizes. Nationally he has been a featured speaker at Country Living Fairs in Ohio, Georgia, Texas and NY, at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA and at the Illinois Specialty Growers Association. He is also well known for his presentations to local garden clubs, schools and colleges.
Mac has spoken on a vast array of topics including: Cucurbits Coast to Coast, Squash 101, Always Growing: My Journey as Farmer, Gardener, Artist and the ever popular Seeing the World through Cucurbit Colored Glasses.
He has made several appearances on the Martha Stewart TV show, the DIY-Network, Illinois Stories, CI Living and on Heartland Highways and has been featured in numerous magazine articles including Martha Stewart Living, Country Living and Woman’s Day.
Mac is an enthusiastic garden designer which is evident throughout the Patch, and enjoys creating true works of art that incorporate the pumpkins, squash and gourds that The Great Pumpkin Patch have become known for. Mac also has a vast knowledge of botanics, which is evident in the unique plant species scattered around the farm–carefully chosen and carefully placed with their specific qualities in mind. The design element comes from the garden settings he has created, such as the whimsical Children’s Garden and English-inspired Conifer Garden.
In addition to the design work he does locally each fall, Mac’s annual decorating commitments include the Chicago Botanic Gardens; the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry; Country Living Fairs in Columbus and Atlanta; and the National Heirloom annual Expo in Santa Rosa, CA. In 2010 he constructed a fall display on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington DC for their annual Halloween event.
Mac is the General Manager of The Great Pumpkin Patch (TGPP) in Arthur, IL where thousands of visitors every fall experience the harvest season along-side the Condill family. Mac is also the owner/operator of The Homestead Seeds, a cucurbit seed business whose mission is to grow, sell and share the stories of rare and unusual cucurbit varieties while providing the highest quality seeds to everyday vegetable gardeners. Mac and his wife Ginny operate The Homestead Bakery on the TGPP grounds, providing made-from scratch baked goods online, to the surrounding communities, and at events nationwide.
Mac’s education began with Practical Gardening Training at Threave Botanical Garden in Scotland. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Agribusiness/Horticulture from Illinois State University and interned at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa.