Visitors at pumpkin patches this year might notice fewer round orange squashes in the bins and that many are smaller than usual.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice might be a fall mantra, but the summer's drought was anything but nice. The serious drought affected pumpkin patches across Manitoba. The co-owner of A Maze In Corn, Clint Masse, says his patch is no exception.
"I think we are going to have the piles and piles until next weekend, and then it is going to get a bit more scarce," Clint Masse says, expecting his patch to only keep up with 85 per cent of the demand.
Masse and his wife own A Maze in Corn in St. Adolphe. Working on 18 acres, Masse says he thought he would be throwing out pumpkins because he overplanted, Instead, they only yielding roughly half of what they planted thanks to their irrigation work. Only orange pumpkins and some black prevailed, with his pink, white, blue, and yellow not making it through the season, something Masse is very sad to see.
"They want a little more rain than just the first little sprinkle in June and then nothing until August."
This means all of his pumpkins are harvested this year, a first in his 20 years.
"It gives us less creativity (to say) 'that one can stay there in favour of a bigger, nicer one," Masse says. "There are some 40 lbs pumpkins out there, but they are so rare. last year, the year before, we could sometimes have too many 40 lbs pumpkins if that is even believable but some of our regular pumpkin varieties look like pie pumpkins."
Schwabe Pumpkins in St. Andrews is selling pumpkins but says their maze and hay mountain could not be made due to the straw storage. Meandher Creek Farm tells their website visitors that their patch west of Brandon is not open this year due to the drought and COVID-19. Deer Meadow Farms, located north of North Transcona, has opened its patches.