Western Manitoba’s tourism scene will look different this fall with the permanent closure of the Meandher Pumpkin Patch near Oak Lake.

The popular agri-tourist spot opened in 2006 and operated for 14 years.

Co-owner Judy Podobni says they haven’t been able to open over the past two years because of the pandemic. “It gave us time to reflect on where we are at. We as owners have gone different ways and are filling our time doing different things. We didn’t have the income coming in or the time committed to the pumpkin patch so we started doing different things.”

“It was going to be a tough start up if we had decided to reopen for 2022. Things had been sitting a lots of repairing would have to be done to get things spruce up and ready to go again.”

The four owners know how much the Meandher Pumpkin Patch meant to people and didn’t take the decision to close lightly. “People don’t realize how much work went into getting the patch ready for every fall.”

The pumpkin patch was popular with area schools and hosted numerous field trips. It also provided employment with a number of seasonal workers finding work every year.

“It was a tough decision and a lot of soul searching. It was almost like a death of something you loved” said Podobni.

“There isn’t any other patches running in the area but we can always hope that someone latches onto the concept and runs with it. We’d be happy to provide them with as much information as we have if they are interested. But we’d also be warning them about how much work it is.”

Judy Podobni says the land used to grow the pumpkins will be returned to regular farm purposes for pasturing or growing a crop.

“The yard side used for the pumpkin patch itself will be maintained as a yard site which could be used by someone for a wedding or a family gathering. We’ll keep that mowed because the one building has a commercial kitchen in it and washrooms. So the facilities are there for something like a wedding, anniversary, reunion or birthday type thing” said Judy Podobni.