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Pumpkin patches preserving water through the California drought emergency

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Pumpkin patches preserving water through the California drought emergency

CHICO, Calif. - A pumpkin patch in Chico is doing what it can to save water during the drought but it's coming with a price. 

The Peterson Sisters’ Pumpkin Patch has been a Chico favorite for almost six years.

Nelle Peterson is the mom of the sisters.

She said the drought along with other bumps in the road created some pitfalls for pumpkin growing this year.

“For us, it is not just about the water,” said Peterson. “There was also a virus that affected most farmers in the Sacramento valley with pumpkins and squash so we do have a decrease in pumpkins this year.”

Peterson said the pumpkins they have now are fine and had a plan to deal with the drought.

“We have a drip system like most of the farmers out there,” said Peterson. “You can be more efficient with your water which definitely helped. Also, we just made sure that we added some fertilizer to help them grow better.”

Peterson said it takes a lot of water to grow pumpkins. It takes about one inch of water a week. That’s about 16 gallons of water to grow one pumpkin.

This drought also driving up the cost of pumpkins.

“We are going to increase as little as we have to because we want to keep this just a fun, and lowkey family place but yes there will be a bit of an increase in the price per pound,” said Peterson.

Despite all the challenges, Peterson said she can’t wait to see people come in for the opening this weekend.

“I love all the families that come out and bring their children,” said Peterson. ‘It warms my heart to see all the good people in the community that support us and just say positive things.”

The pumpkin patch will be open starting on Friday at 3 p.m. and will be open on Saturdays and Sundays as well from 10 a.m. till sunset.

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