'Tis the Season for Plentiful Pumpkins Across Ohio

Fall season has arrived in Ohio and along with it a favorite crop for food and fun: pumpkins. From pumpkin pie to Jack-o’-lanterns, Ohioans are beginning their fall family traditions.

Luckily, Ohio will have an abundant selection of pumpkins this season. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s pumpkin fields have been plentiful thanks to just enough rain and sun in August and September. 

“This may be one of our best years we’ve ever had,” Jim Jasinski, a pumpkin expert and agricultural official with Ohio State University’s extension service, said. “We really didn’t have the high temperatures that we had last year. It was perfect conditions.”

Ohio is the third largest pumpkin producer behind Illinois and California. In 2013, Ohio’s pumpkin crop was low, yielding only eight tons per acre, compared to a usual 10 to 20 tons. The smaller pumpkin harvest also led to higher prices last season.  But, this season yields are up 10 to 15 percent.

According to the Toledo Blade, most of the state’s crop is used for Jack-o’-lanterns or other decorative purposes and that market is worth about $15.4 million in Ohio.

Jasinski shared with The Columbus Dispatch a few recommendations for finding the right pumpkin this season.
  • Select a pumpkin with a few inches of good, green stem.
  • Find a pumpkin with few nicks and gashes. Those marks will harbor bacteria and cause the pumpkin to melt down on your front porch.
  • Look for a traditional-looking pumpkin, one that is deep orange with a smooth rind and few projecting ribs.
This season in Ohio, the perfect carving pumpkin should be easy to find!

What are some of your fall family traditions? How about your favorite Jack-o’-lantern design? Share with us in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of the Toledo Blade, DIYNetwork and Sandusky Register.