Despite necessary changes to its operation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its been a banner year for one Manitoba pumpkin patch.
“We’re actually pretty busy this year. It hurt us a bit in the spring knowing what we should plant — we were worrying if we should even put anything in,” said Melody Schwabe, co-owner of Schwabe Pumpkins.
The pandemic has been a boon for the St. Andrews family business, which saw significant trouble in 2019 after a poor growing season and storm damage to its property.
“I think the idea of being outside is a lot more comforting to people than being inside places, so I feel like when they know they can come here and they can kind of take their time and be outside and have the kids run off some energy, they really enjoy that,” Schwabe said.
The pumpkin patch has instituted a two-hour time limit, mandated masks inside of its barn and increased cleaning — above and beyond provincial regulations.
“It’s a little different than what we’d like to do. Lots more hand sanitizer to buy and just things that we normally don’t have to provide for people — just to keep everyone safe,” she said.
However, Schwabe is looking forward to a more normal year — once the pandemic eventually subsides.