Fewer "Great" Pumpkins for Halloween

Though Ohio is one of the nation’s top pumpkin-producing states, heavy summer rains and flooding have impacted this fall’s pumpkin crop, meaning fewer and smaller pumpkins for Halloween.

“Size wise, we’re going to be off a little bit,” said Dan Gust of Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm in a Toledo Blade article. “Last year the pumpkins were huge, they were beautiful. We still have a lot of big pumpkins, but they’re not as plentiful.”

With a smaller crop, pumpkin pickers will find slightly higher prices this season, too. According to the Columbus Dispatch, one pumpkin patch in Plain City is raising prices by 4 cents per pound — the grower’s first price increase in three years. Another pumpkin grower in Swanton, is also increasing prices by two cents per pound.

This is a much different picture from Ohio’s bumper crop in 2012, which was worth about $23.3 million, compared to $16.6 million in 2011 and 2010. Last year, Ohio grew 14 percent of the nation’s pumpkins.

Though this year’s crop is smaller, there are still plenty of beautiful Ohio pumpkins to choose for your holiday decorating. Here are a few tips from www.allaboutpumpkins.com to help you pick the perfect pumpkin:

  • Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size and has consistent coloring
  • Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs. If it flexes or gives, your pumpkin is not fresh
  • Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage
  • Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem, a green stem indicates a freshly harvested pumpkin
  • Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to see if it will sit flat after being carved

Photo obtained from: www.allaboutpumpkins.com

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