Korner Pumpkin Patch opened for the 15th year in a row on Friday.
The pumpkin patch east of Beatrice is ran by siblings Lynette Jurgens and Don Jobman with help from family. Jurgens lives on the property and said that when she first moved there in about 2001 she decided to sell some of her extra pumpkins and gourds.
“I brought them down in a hayrack and my brothers combine, and he’s like ‘dang all these people are stopping’” she said. “Then he’s like, ‘well what if you think we plant pumpkins and gourds in the hog lots.' That’s where we started.”
Jobman said that the property was used for a host of different things before it became the Korner Pumpkin Patch - it was once an army barracks, then a chicken house and later a hog house.
Then Jobman and his sister decided to change some things to accommodate their new business. Jurgens said that everyone in the family has their own role on the farm that fits them well.
“I’m usually the one out picking, putting stuff out, Don’s daughters - they’re the ones that set up the displays and stuff like that. Don does like the heavier work,” Jurgens said.
When the pumpkin patch was just getting its start, Jurgens and Jobman used to plant everything by hand - a three-day long task. Now they have grown their business and offer up to 100 varieties of pumpkin, squash and gourds.
They started planting this year around June 6. Don said it takes about a month and a half for the first blooms to finish growing.
“The first blooms are male blooms, and they don’t produce anything, and then finally they’ll start setting the other flowers usually around the first part of August,” Jobman said.
Jobman said his favorite part is watching the pumpkins when they first start to grow down the rows. Jurgens said her favorite part is seeing the same people come back year after year.
“Some people, they brought their babies here and now they’re big kids and you know the people who come back every year, it’s kind of like, the socialization, you know it’s also something for the community,” she said.
Korner Pumpkin Patch sits four miles east of Beatrice High School on U.S. Highway 136. Pumpkins are priced by size and uniqueness, with only checks and cash accepted. Admission is free.
The pumpkin patch is open weekdays 4-7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m.