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Pride of the Wapsi battles inflation while preparing for pumpkin patch season

With the first day of fall arriving, Pride of the Wapsi is preparing for its pumpkin patch after facing the increased price of seeds earlier this year.

LONG GROVE, Iowa — With the first day of fall in the books, Pride of the Wapsi is preparing for pumpkin season. 

“We always pray we're going to have a good season and that we're going to have a lot of customers come out,” co-owner Lora Dierickx said.

Lora, alongside her husband Pat, planted the pumpkin seeds in late May, and it takes around 100 days for the plants to fully grow. 

"We had pretty adequate rains, which was nice. Pumpkins do well in when it's dry," Dierickx said. 

As inflation has grown in the past year, it's become more expensive for farmers to plant pumpkin seeds. Pride of the Wapsi has seen a price increase in pumpkin seeds and soil, but it's still more expensive for them to buy pumpkins in bulk. 

"It's actually more expensive for us to buy pumpkins and have them shipped in than for us to grow them. Semi load of pumpkins can be upwards of $5,000," Dierickx explained.

This year at Pride of the Wapsi, visitors can expect to see activities like hayrack rides, mini golf, corn mazes and more. For Lora, it's her mission to bring smiles to all her visitors as much as possible. 

"Everyone's happy and no one gets hurt, those are my two goals," she said.

For this year's corn maze, Lora designed the maze to say, " Lora Hearts Pat 4 Ever" as a dedication to her love for her husband. Pat and Lora have owned Pride of the Wapsi for over 25 years. 

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