This summer's drought may affect this fall's Halloween. A pumpkin shortage has been reported in parts of the nation. But, it doesn't seem to be affecting business in the Shenandoah Valley.
For kids like 11-year-old Andrew Lightner the search is on for the perfect pumpkin. He is looking for a dark orange one that's ripe. This fall Andrew, and kids like him want the gourd that will "light up" their Halloween. They don't even realize the work that goes on behind the scenes.
Leon Heatwole, who is with the Shen Ville Creamery and Garden watering the pumpkins includes pulling a big hose out and then reeling it back in. It waters as it goes. Employees had to irrigate the crops to make up for this summer's lack of rain and that adds up.
Heatwole says the cost on the irrigation is the labor, keeping the machines going, the fuel and the electric.
While the pumpkins are thriving - they may not stack up to last year's batch. One produce manager, Miguel Toscano, says pumpkins didn't get that big this year, about 70 percent.
He says last year some were 240-pounds and really big, this year not so much, the pumpkins are only 180-200.
But, whether they weigh 200 or two-pounds, they kids don't mind, as long as they have a pumpkin of their own.
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Source: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu (Urban Programs Resource Network Web site) contributed to this report.