Local pumpkin patch sees steady business in 2021 | The business

Local pumpkin patch sees steady business in 2021 |  The business

“Whether they pick one or two apples, they just want to do it just so they have the experience,” Furbee said. Along with decorating, Furbee said many people have been out picking apples this season. 90-year-old Shirley McCahon could be found wheeling a crate full of freshly-picked apples through the orchard, and she said she’s been picking apples from Schweizer Orchards for somewhere close to 70 years.

While some businesses across the country have reported a shortage of pumpkins, Furbee said that wasn’t felt here in St. Joseph. Furbee said the orchard is very busy from mid-September to the end of October. On a good weekend this fall, she estimates that Schweizer Orchards sees 500 to 600 people on a Saturday alone. She said popular items this year have been colorful Indian corn and specialty pumpkins for decorating.

“We plant all of our own pumpkins,” Furbee said. “We grow all these specialty pumpkins, the big ones all the way down to the little minis. We didn’t have any problem. … Right here in this general area, we did not have a pumpkin shortage, so we’re fine.” Furbee said that COVID-19 or no COVID-19, the orchard is always busy and that people are still wanting to get outside, go to the pumpkin patch, do the wagon rides on the weekends and just enjoy what the business has to offer.

“I just like doing it,” McCahon said. Furbee said the apple and pumpkin harvests are still happening. But not only does she think fresh apples are better than apples from a store, she said being outside and picking apples fresh off the tree is right up her alley.

McCahon comes up from Kansas City and said she has already been to the orchard twice this season and plans on coming back once more. She said she likes to pick Jonathan Apples to make apple butter, apple pie, apple cake and eat them raw. “They’re good,” McCahon said. “If they haven’t had any fresh off the tree, they don’t know what an apple tastes like.”

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