Pumpkin Patch Owner Struggles to Grow Quality Selection
Excessive amount of rain made it difficult to grow pumpkins this season
GLYNDON, Minn. — Mike Halvorson bought his farm about 20 years ago.
After four years of owning the land, he got the idea to create the Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch.
“It’s great. Yeah, we didn’t know what to expect when we first started it, so we really enjoyed what it turned out to be and we read all the comments on Facebook and that type of thing, how people can really spend some family time together still today, and we’re glad we can be part of that,” he said.
For 16 years, he’s welcomed families and children to make memories, build traditions, and of course, pick pumpkins.
Only this year, things haven’t gone according to plan.
“The pumpkins didn’t come along as they normally would, so, I typically have to buy a few each year, and buy from local growers, but even the local growers had a tough time filling orders, so ended up having to go outside our area to secure our pumpkins for this season.”
He says the excessive amount of rain from the past couple of months is to blame.
“They like sun, so, if we can get a lot of sun and occasional rain, that’s the best growing conditions we can have for them, so I just think those long, rainy days that we had throughout the summer just took its toll on them.”
Halvorson says this season, he grew half the number of pumpkins he normally does.
He ended up getting a couple thousand pumpkins from a farm about two and a half hours away from him.
Although the process was a bit challenging, he says his reward is simply seeing those who stop by leave happy.
“We kept our prices the same, so we just want the families to come out and enjoy the pumpkin patch and still go home with a reasonably priced pumpkin.”
Experts at Yale University say a pumpkin shortage is likely to become more common in coming years due to warmer temperatures and heavy rainfall.
Even so, Halvorson stays optimistic and says he plans on taking things “one day at a time.”
The Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch is open for another five weeks.