September 18, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The search for that perfect pumpkin may be a bit tougher this year.
Heavy rains this summer ruined some West Virginia farmers’ pumpkin crops.
“I’m in low-lying ground, and it rained about 20 days after they were planted,” said Kim Jackson of Kim’s Greenhouse in Milton. “… It was pretty much a disaster this year on pumpkins. We lost most of them.”
That meant some pumpkin buyers had to look outside the state for their bulk purchases.
Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Farrell buys about 50 pumpkins to carve each year and said he found a farm in Athalia, Ohio, with a good crop.
And employee Teresa Spurlock of Floyd’s Fruit & Flowers in Barboursville said shipments have arrived from a grower in Crown City, Ohio.
The West Virginia Pumpkin Festival is set for early next month and organizers said there won’t be a shortage of jack-o’-lanterns.
“Locally, there’s probably a little shortage because we had a little rain and they rotted and vines didn’t grow, but there are lot in North Carolina and Ohio and around,” said Boyd Meadows of Meadows Produce in Milton. “The Pumpkin Festival has them already to bring in to give to the kids. They usually have several thousand.”
V&J Farms co-owner Vallery Withrow in Scott Depot said rain wasn’t the problem for her pumpkin patch this year. Deer were.
She told The Herald-Dispatch that her husband saw a dozen of them in their field at one point.
While the couple planted more pumpkins than usual, “we’re not going to be able to have anything,” she said. “We didn’t have this problem with deer before, but this year, it’s been awful.
“We took a big loss. We hope next year we’ll be able to keep the deer under control.”