This year could yield an unusually high crop for local pumpkin farmers.
This summer’s weather created perfect growing conditions for this fall favorite.
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There will be thousands of pumpkins at Young’s Jersey Dairy near Yellow Springs.
“I love pumpkins,” said Sandy Little, who visited Young’s pumpkin patch last week. “I can’t imagine fall without them.”
Farm manager Stuart Young said the 22 acres of pumpkins are ready for picking.
“Good color, ribbing, shape,” Young said. “You want to be able to carve a Jack-O-Lantern face in it.”
Young said the 2015 and 2016 pumpkin seasons weren’t ideal due to too much rain. Because pumpkins like drier weather, this season will be much better.
“We had good pollination, the bees did their thing,” Young said. “Plenty of rain, less disease and because we had a cool August, it’s perfect for the growing season.”
Young said pumpkins though can get sunburn so they will keep a close eye on the crop as temperatures have unexpectedly jumped into the 80s and 90s.
“Just cross your fingers and ask for a little cloud cover,” Young said.
The Young’s pick-your-own pumpkin patch opened Sept 23. It’s available every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of October.
Customers can take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin at a total cost of $8.50 per ride or three for $24.
Pumpkins can also be purchased at the dairy store starting at $3. Larger pumpkins are individually marked, according to Young’s website.
The 41st annual Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival at Young’s will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8. The festival includes pictures with Humongous Gus, an 800-pound pumpkin, as well as pumpkin cinnamon doughnut holes, pumpkin launching and pumpkin bowling. The event is held rain or shine.
Pumpkin prices are about the same as last year, but pumpkin growers will see a boost in their bottom line because of the amount grown this season.
“I’m not going to have to supplement with purchasing any because I have such a good crop this year,” Young said.
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