The first weekend in October signals the beginning of pumpkin season in KELOLAND. And one local grower can thank this year's cool summer for bumper crop.
Nestled in farm country east of Rowena just off Highway 42... a place called the Garden of Weedin' is busy these days. It's a pumpkin patch and more. Mary Ann Stoeser and her husband are working hard to get ready for a big weekend in the patch full of plump pumpkins just perfect for picking. "We started doing the pumpkins on a smaller scale 8 years ago and we charges a dollar then and charge a dollar now,” said Stoeser.
The farm has grown over the years... a lot. Big, medium... small, there are thousands of pumpkin hills. "And that doesn't include mini pumpkins, white ones, orange ones, the goose bumps, the white pumpkins, the great big ones....so how many.....30,000?," said Stoeser.
And like any business in agriculture.... this garden is very sensitive to the weather. Cool cloudy days like this were common this summer, but it little impact on the number of pumpkins at the Garden of Weedin.
While the pumpkins didn't fuss about the cooler temperatures, tomato and pepper yields were down. "Pumpkins, squash aren't as picky, but with cool temps and humidity it caused a lot of blight... including here,” said Stoeser.
But despite the blight...the forecast is looking bright on the other side of the garden...just where it counts for pumpkin fans. "By the looks of things this year, I don't think we'll run out out at all... it's a great crop this year... it really is," said Stoeser.
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