September first, also known as meteorological fall lived up to its name this Friday. We caught up with local farmers as they reflect on this year’s growing season.
“It was a little bit different this year, with the rain that we had early in the season. We had to replant pumpkins,” said Sonyell Roy.
Roy has been working at Applejacks Orchard a little over a decade, and explains the 2017 season will fall short of what was seen just last year. It all started with the soggy, and cool weather during late May and early June. Which it couldn’t of came at a worse time, just after seeds went into the ground.
“They grew mildew, they grew mold, so they wouldn’t grow. They had to replant them and when we started to see the plants pop back up it was great news,” said Roy.
At Applejacks Orchard all three pumpkin patches had to be replanted, putting them two to three weeks behind schedule. Now the cooler weather is playing a role in the late season growth.
“Some of the growths might die off because of the cooler nights. But hopefully we have enough in there to make it through the season,” said Roy.
Which means you better pick your pumpkins early this year because local farmers are expecting a potential shortage. Mary Whitcomb, of Whitcomb, of Whitcomb’s Farm agrees with Sonyell Roy.
Whitcomb too has experienced a decline in the number of pumpkins this year, and after an above average yield during the 2016 season. Both Roy and Whitcomb are expecting a 50% decline from last year. It has all come down to the weather.
“We didn’t have as much sun, probably not as many pollination with the bees. And the rain,” said Whitcomb.
Harvest will come later than previous years, both Whitcomb’s and Applejacks are expected to harvest in the next two to three weeks. Both women leave you with this message.
“Come out early to get your pumpkins, don’t wait to the last week, before Halloween,” said Roy.