Pumpkins on the vine still growingPosted: Updated:
PASCO, Wash.-- Wednesday is the last day of summer and many people are switching into fall mode, starting to think about Halloween and, of course, pumpkins. There has been speculation of a pumpkin shortage this year because of the weather across the United States.
In the Tri-Cities area, we had a long spring with colder temperatures than usual and more rain than in a typical year. Jay Wood, owner of the Country Mercantile, located just north of Pasco, grows 15 acres of pumpkins every year. He says, "We have had some difficulties because of the cold, wet spring which delays the growth and we've had some replants that we've had to do." However, he finishes with, "I think we've had a pretty good crop. We don't have the numbers, as far as the yield, but it will be sufficient."
Nationally, it's a different story. Woods explains, "The east has had real trouble with their pumpkins. Some of them have had total wipeouts and disasters because of the cold, wet conditions, which cause a little demand and stress on our markets." He says prices at grocery stores may be a little higher and shelves not as full, but there's no pumpkin crisis.
The Country Mercantile begins its festivities, including picking your own pumpkin right out of the patch, carnival rides, hay pyramids and much more, on October 1. As for the pumpkins, he says they'll all be big and orange by then as long as we don't get any nights below freezing.