Go ahead and breath a sigh of relief all you fans of pumpkin pie and pumpkin carving.
For the first time in years, the weather has cooperated with pumpkin farmers in the North and the West, and this year’s pumpkin crop is looking like an especially nice one.
“This year, they’re plentiful,” said Roz O’Hearn, spokeswoman for Libby’s, a division of Nestle that’s the largest producer of canned pumpkin pie mix. Their production centers around one small area in Ohio, and weather there has been good. A standard 15-ounce can of 100 percent pumpkin will come with a suggested price of $2.19 this year, she said. That’s about a dime higher than last year.
On the pumpkin carving side, David Hunsader just took delivery of about 14,000 carving pumpkins for his farm’s annual pumpkin festival. “The ones coming from up north are really nice this year,” Hunsader said.
This is a huge change from years past, when either overly wet weather drenched crops or hurricanes up the east coast destroyed fields, or drought in the Midwest parched fields to dust. “Last year it seemed there were a lot of bad ones, rotting ones.” In past years, some years, cans of Libby’s disappeared from grocery store shelves because production was so slim, and some stores resorted to rationing can sales to customers.