Local pumpkin patch feels effects of partial government shutdown

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Most people browsing the latest in farm technology on day one of the Topeka Farm Show told 13 NEWS they are still largely unaffected on day 18 of the partial government shutdown.

Some, on the other hand, are feeling the heat.

“We had a disaster in pumpkins this year, so we filed for disaster insurance,” Gary Starr, owner of Gary’s Pumpkin Patch, said.

Hot, dry weather left Gary’s Pumpkin Patch with a limited crop last fall.

Now, owner Gary Starr is awaiting approval of disaster insurance to buy things like pumpkin seeds and fertilizer for the upcoming growing season.

“In the process, they have to vote on it with the County Committee and everything,” Starr said. “I didn’t realize it, but the other day, I sent them an email, and they’re shut down. I haven’t gotten an answer yet whether or not they approved my disaster payment for the insurance of pumpkins.”

With no end to the shutdown in sight, the small business can't look ahead to the future.

“It does have a financial effect on us, and also, uncertainty,” Starr said. “We can’t get any answers on where the disaster payment is at.”

Still, Starr is staying positive.

“We will continue on,” Starr said. “I think that’s what makes small businesses great in America.”

Currently, the shutdown is the second-longest in history. The longest, which started in December of 1995, lasted 21 days.