Pumpkins few and far between

Erin Smith Staff writer

October 24, 2013

ELIZABETHTOWN — Folks in Bladen County are scratching their heads and wondering just where to go to purchase their orange fruits for carving and cooking this year.

While it has been noted by the N.C. Department of Agriculture that the pumpkin crop looks good here in North Carolina, locally, pumpkin sightings are few.

The Cape Fear Farmer’s Market did not have any pumpkins available for purchase as of Wednesday. Morris Farm on N.C. 41 near the Bladen and Robeson county line — which normally has a huge variety of pumpkins, as well as a nice pumpkin display — also did not have any pumpkins available this year.

“Fall is here,” Garner farmer Elsie Bynum told News 14. “And the kids like to paint pumpkins, carve pumpkins or just hold pumpkins.”

Bynum says so far, pumpkin selling season is going strong.

Dean Morris of Morris Farms in Bladen County said, however, they didn’t grow pumpkins this year due to the fields being too wet. He said they were not able to get into the fields in time to plant the fall treat.

“We had an extended wheat season. It was too wet to do anything,” said Morris. “We hope to do it again next year.”

Bladen County Cooperative Extension Agent Bruce McLean said several of those who have grown pumpkins in the past chose not to do so this year. He added that there was a high incidence of fungal disease this year and pumpkins are susceptible to such diseases.

“They may have looked at it from a disease stand point .,” said McLean.

Doris Radlein, assistant manager of the Elizabethtown Walmart store, said they do have a few pumpkins available for purchase, but not many. The ones they do have can be purchased in the store’s garden center.


Upcoming festivals


North Carolina is home to several fall pumpkin festivals. Those that are coming up include:

— The 17th annual Franklin Pumpkinfest, Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the downtown area.

— The third annual Grover Pumpkin Festival, Saturday, Oct. 26, from noon to 9 p.m.

— The 11th annual Statesville Pumpkin Fest, Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the downtown area.