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Whether you carve them or eat them, area pumpkin farmers say this year’s crop is good.
“We’ve had a very good crop despite the dry weather,” said Holly Fork Farm owner Stephanie Ripchick, adding that although pumpkins aren’t exceptionally water-driven fruits the Barhamsville farm hadn’t seen significant rain until last week.
The farm, located at 4901 Holly Fork Rd., is about a four-minute drive from the James City County line and offers a pumpkin patch, a corn maze and pumpkin launching.
Toano pumpkin farmer Berry Allen also reported a strong crop this year. He and his brother, Clinton, own Pumpkinville Farm. They’ve been selling locally grown pumpkins at 7691 Richmond Rd. for 21 years.
The Toano patch opened for the season last Saturday, complete with pick-them-yourself pumpkins, hay rides, apple cider and pumpkin butter. Also available for sale are winter squashes and gourds grown at their New Kent County farm.
Pumpkinville Farm pumpkin prices range from $1.50 for miniatures to $40 for a 200-pounder, Allen said.
Both Ripchick and Allen reported having harvested about 3,000 pumpkins and gourds since September with many more waiting to be picked from the vines.
Strong local harvests are a reflection of pumpkin crops throughout the state. A Wednesday release from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office stated that many of Virginia’s 200 pumpkin farmers have reported colorful pumpkin crops with strong stems this year.
“A nice, hearty stem makes the pumpkin,” Allen said.
McAuliffe also declared October Virginia’s “Pumpkin Month,” adding that the Virginia Pumpkin Growers’ Association reported about 3,000 acres of wholesale pumpkins across Virginia this year with a value of more than $6 million.
Mayfield can be reached at 352-431-9612.