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"Peak Minnesota": Chilly weather doesn't stop pumpkin seekers from hitting the orchard

DAYTON, Minn. – Hundreds of families passed through the gates of Dehn’s Pumpkins in Dayton Sunday, many in search of the same thing – the perfect pumpkin.

“This is an annual tradition for us, we come out here with another couple and their two kids, and we do it every fall,” said Rachel Lawson of Mahtomedi.

“Sometimes they want the biggest one,” Lawson said regarding her two kids’ search for the right gourd. “But then they have to keep in mind they’re going to have to take out more of the guts and stuff.”

Sunday’s brisk winds, lack of sun and cooler-feeling temperatures capped off a wild week of weather at Dehn’s. In six days, the pumpkin patch saw an 80-degree day and one filled with snow.



“In the middle of the season, it’s our busiest time of year for us, and the weather’s key for us,” said Bruce Dehn, who has owned the pumpkin patch with his brothers for 17 years. “It’s a lot of work, but it is fun to grow and produce.”

Dehn says the ranging temperatures and drought conditions have posed a fair number of challenges for their efforts to grow during the fall season – but says the squash has proved resilient.

“Beginning of the season, you’ll have 80-degree weather, and then come now, you can get snow or rain and sleet,” he said.

“We really have the beauty of having four seasons,” said Marcella Gibbs. “We have the ability to experience it all, sometimes all in one week.”

“For us, I just think the changing season is just an opportunity for us to come together as a family and spend time outside in kind of our last weeks of enjoying the outdoors,” said Nate Gibbs. “It makes me just appreciate where we live, we do have four seasons, but we have one really long season – that’s winter.”

Source: CBS Minnesota

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