What steps are in the value chain for pumpkins grown and sold by Beckwith Orchards?

Photo of pumpkins at Beckwith OrchardsBeckwith Orchards is a family owned and operated farm and store that has been in the Beckwith family since 1878. It grows and sells a wide variety of produce, including apples, peaches, pears, gourds, and pumpkins.

Each year, it plants a variety of pumpkins. In addition to the common orange oval pumpkin used to carve the traditional jack-o’-lantern, it grows pumpkin varieties that are red, pink, or a combination of orange and green. The shapes of these other varieties are not always oval.  Many of these pumpkins are used for Halloween decorations by individuals and by businesses.

Beckwith workers plant the pumpkin seeds in late spring. Throughout the summer, the pumpkin patches are watered, fertilized, weeded, and otherwise tended. The pumpkins are harvested beginning in late summer into early fall.

The pumpkins are put on display at Beckwith’s store that is located on the farm. In addition, several orders of pumpkins are delivered to local stores.

Typically, pumpkins will keep for many months after harvest.  On the rare occasion that a pumpkin would be rotten inside, Beckwith’s will replace the pumpkin at no cost – Beckwith’s stands behind all of its produce and merchandise.

Beckwith Orchard closes for the season on December 24. It reopens to the public in early July each year. During the offseason, its owners and workers are researching new potential produce varieties, learning about new organic pesticides and fertilizers, preparing the fields for planting, planting, and other farming support activities.


  1. Would Beckwith Orchards be considered to be a manufacturer, merchandiser, or service organization? Explain.
  2. What are the six steps in the value chain in general?
  3. Although there are six steps in the value chain, Beckwith Orchards’ pumpkins may not go through each step, or may not go through each step sequentially. Identify the steps in the value chain specifically for the pumpkins grown and sold by Beckwith Orchards.

Instructor Resources

These resources are provided to give the instructor flexibility for use of Accounting in the Headlines articles in the classroom. The blog posting itself can be assigned via a link to this site OR by distributing the student handout below. Alternatively, the PowerPoint file below contains a bullet point overview of the article and the discussion questions.

  • Student handout (pdf) (word) (contains entire blog posting + discussion questions)
  • PowerPoint file (brief article overview + discussion questions)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

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