Snowy Weather to Hit Pumpkin Patches, Orchards at Right Time

October 26, 2017 03:20 PM

Pumpkin holdouts concerned you might have to ice-sculpt a jack-o-lantern rather than carve one, fear not: area pumpkin patches and apple orchards are prepared for the weekend's potential winter onslaught.

"If (people) still haven't gotten their pumpkins, they still have to get a pumpkin," said Mary Joyer, proprietor of Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes.


RELATED: Winter Weather Advisory in Effect for 11 Counties Across State

Waldoch has already moved much of its Halloween produce this season, Joyer said, but she and her crew were busy Thursday transferring as many remaining pumpkins from the 35-acre planting to an indoor greenhouse. She encouraged weekend visitors to buy from within rather than picking from the fields, where remaining pumpkins might be frozen. 

And that's typical of this time of year, area patches and orchards are saying.

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"If this was Oct. 7 or 8, we'd all be feeling a little differently," said Judy Erickson, who owns Pleasant Valley Orchard in Shafer with her husband, Jim Birkholz. "This time of year we expect a little variability in the weather, and we plan to do what we do anyway."

Pleasant Valley plans to operate status quo this weekend, Erickson said, with the caveat that a hayride might not go out as planned if rain falls or snow becomes heavy. That's when the wood stove at the apple shed would provide some respite. 

John Jacobson, who along with a brother and four sisters owns Pine Tree Orchards in White Bear Lake, likens this point in the fall produce season to the downslope of a bell curve. 

"If (bad weather) would have been three weeks ago, we probably would have had a different plan in place to take care of this," Jacobson said.  "It's pretty much business as usual, so we are continuing on with our normal practices. There's nothing earth-shattering that we're going to lose" business-wise.

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Jacobson, whose family has run the orchard since 1958, said that while pumpkins remain in the field, there season is winding down. The crew at Pine Tree is purging its hoses and trickle system, and winterizing. 

If outdoor activities for the weekend get canceled, Jacobson said, there's the sales room and quilt show inside. This time of year "we start shrinking the facility down to accommodate weather," Jacobson said. 


Michael Oakes

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