Pumpkins Primed for Great Season

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

GROTTOES, Va. (WHSV) -- Many made their way out today to pick up pumpkins, a business that is seeing a boom this year.

Shelby Apple looks forward to this time of year.

"For the past, ever since the kids were young, we've been coming here," said Apple.

Which helps farmer Carroll Swartz who grows both sweet corn and pumpkins.

"If you have a good year, you can make a lot more per acre off of pumpkins than sweet corn," said Swartz.

Swartz said pumpkins are not just a cash crop and growing them is harder than it looks.

"I tell people it costs twice as much to grow an acre of pumpkins as an acre of sweet corn and it takes twice the management," said Swartz.

Swartz said wet weather can rot the pumpkins or cause fungus and bugs, but he lucked out.

"The last couple of years, it just seems like a lot of the rain misses us," said Swartz.

The rain didn't miss him today and almost kept the customers away.

"Well this morning was a total wash out and we were just kind of sitting at home we figured the whole day would be like that. Then all of a sudden we were sitting there and we saw the sun and the blue sky and we thought lets go," said Apple.

The inch and a half of rain made for plenty of mud, but Swartz said that won't hurt the pumpkins.

"It's late enough in the season, they're going to be harvested soon, so I think they'll be fine," said Swartz.

With or without the rain, Swartz can't deny that it's, "probably the best season for pumpkins we've ever had."

Apple and her two kids look forward to enjoying the options.

"They like the huge fat ones like those over there and I like the small ones," said Swartz.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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