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Archive for Sunday, October 11, 1998

HEAVY THUNDERSTORMS DELAY PUMPKIN HARVEST

October 11, 1998

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The wagons were a week behind schedule in taking customers out to the field, but Schaake's Pumpkin Patch has survived the torrential downpours of the last week.

At least for the time being.

``So far the pumpkins are holding up,'' owner Janet Schaake said. ``We don't know how it will affect them further in the month.''

Fourteen varieties of pumpkins are scattered over 17 acres on the Schaake family farm. The fields are still damp, but accessible to customers who want to pick their own pumpkin.

``I think since it's dried off it's going to be pretty busy,'' Schaake said.

The family hasn't been as fortunate with their other crops. The soybeans and corn are showing wear from the excessive moisture, Schaake said.

``We're almost finished, but the corn that's left, if the ears are left upright they've started to sprout,'' she said.

It's not a disaster, but the sprouting means a lower price at the grain elevator.

Schaake said she wasn't certain how much of a financial loss the family will take on the corn and soybeans.

``You never know, living in Kansas,'' she said. ``You never know what Mother Nature will do.''

The pumpkin patch opened Sept. 26, before the hard rains hit.

``It was still really warm and I don't think people were in a fall mood yet,'' Schaake said. ``The harvest started early this year, then the rains prolonged everything, and now we're back. We have to fight mud holes but this is a busy time.''

In addition to pumpkins, the Schaakes sell corn shocks, hay bales and squash. Those crops were harvested before the rain and were stored in a dry area.

The Schaake Pumpkin Patch is open through Oct. 31.

-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is jwatson@ljworld.com.

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