Local pumpkin patch bounces back this year after flooding from Hurricane Matthew

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A local pumpkin patch here in the East thrives during the month of October.

Briley’s on Old Pactolus Road is a family-owned farm that’s been around for decades.

It’s acres of family fun, featuring a pig race, hayride, pumpkin patch and more.

But the people who put the show on say that it isn’t all fun and games.

“There’s a lot that goes behind the scenes,” owner Rachel Whitehurst said. “It doesn’t just open up September 31st and it’s beautiful.”

“Hours and hours and hours of hard work,” tractor driver Walt Podruchny added.

Whitehurst and Podruchny are part of a tight-knit 18-person crew that keeps the farm trucking.

“Working sun up to sun down,” Podruchny said.

They rely on the fall season to keep them afloat the remainder of the year.

“50 percent of what we do is this month, right here,” Whitehurst said. “It’s usually the last three weekends.”

However, their top three weekends of last year were swept away by Hurricane Matthew, taking away their main source of income.

“There’s no words to describe it,” Podruchny said. “It hurts your feelings when you have put in so many hours and time into something and you come out here and everything is flooded. Literally where you are standing right now, we would be completely underwater. A lot of things were broken we had to fix, it really hurt us the whole year.”

“We were to the very end of our rope when we opened back up,” Whitehurst added.

They say they are back on track for this fall season.

“We actually have had no loss of days right now because of weather so that has been huge for us,” Whitehurst said.

“It feels very rewarding I mean, it just shows you that all your hard work pays off, especially seeing all the families around makes you feel good,” Podruchny said.

Bringing joy, one pumpkin at a time.

Briley’s is open year-round, but their fall festivities end in November.

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