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Your Henderson Highway pumpkin store

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Kathy Plikett, Neil Wiebe, Jen Wiebe, Vicki Sinclair.

PHOTO BY EVAN COMSTOCK Enlarge Image

Kathy Plikett, Neil Wiebe, Jen Wiebe, Vicki Sinclair. Photo Store

Gourds galore are to be found at Petrasko’s Market & Garden (formerly Petrasko Bros.) at 1577 Henderson Hwy.  

I met with co-owner Kathy Plikett, who had been working for the company for 35 years before becoming an owner four years ago.

She has plans to add new areas and products to her store in the upcoming seasons.

"We’ve added a few things and freshened the place up but our specialty is still locally grown food. We are still getting the same daily deliveries, and the same daily customers."

On the day Plikett spoke to me, the store had experienced its first break-in the night before.

As we chatted, the other owner, Neil Wiebe, was busy looking at damaged inventory.

Still, the store looked to me as it usually does in the fall, with bins full of robust onions, overflowing with pumpkins and squash of every shape and size.

"Our farmers, they want to drown us in squash, and with only 10 days left we have got a lot of squash out there," Kathy says.

Kathy educated me about the pumpkins.

"A pumpkin is considered a squash," she says, "and people have been making wonderful baked goods with them for years but pumpkins are also used as a vegetable."

Try adding them to your soups, chili or even pastas.

"One use I’ve been hearing a lot this summer is that people use it for dogs with stomach issues because it calms their stomachs," she says.

The real reason we all want pumpkins this time of year is Halloween, of course, and I asked Kathy if she had any tips in choosing the right one.

"If you have small children and you want to make a jack o’ lantern generally the rule is the bigger the better — but we do not specialize in too big because we can’t carry them," she says with a laugh.

"If you want the really big ones go see the market garden just past the perimeter. He’s got big pumpkins, and even though we’re in the same business and sort of competitive we all stick together and work together."

Petrasko’s also works with the community at large.

"Last year we were able to call Siloam Mission to pick up what we didn’t sell, which worked out fantastic and they were very appreciative and were able to take it all."  

There are lots of hungry people in our city, and we are fortunate to have those willing to share.
The store will reopen for a few weeks in December to sell live Christmas trees, jams and other merchandise.

Evan Comstock is a community correspondent for East Kildonan.

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