LUZERNE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A touch of coolness in the air can mean fall is just around the corner, and one autumn crop might be a bit difficult to find this year.
Dry spells and heavy rains have caused quite a headache for many pumpkin farmers and local fall festivals in the area.
On Main Street in Luzerne, they are gearing up for their first Fall Pumpkin Festival since 2019, but this year, they had more trouble than normal getting ahold of some pumpkins.
“Well out of 25 years this is the worst year to grow pumpkins, I think,” stated Harry Roinick, owner of Pumpkin Hill Produce Farms in Nescopeck.
It’s the great pumpkin shortage, Charlie Brown. This year, thanks to the extreme weather, many pumpkin farmers are producing fewer pumpkins than normal.
“It’s been a battle trying to grow stuff this year because it’s been dry for a whole five weeks there. No rain. And all of a sudden the rain came and it never stopped,” described Roinick.
The people at Pumpkin Hill Produce Farms of Nescopeck say this year they have enough of the crop for their roadside stand, but due to the unpredictable forecast, they aren’t able to provide wholesale pumpkins this season.
“It’s just been adverse weather,” stated Roinick.
One local pumpkin festival tells us they almost felt the effects of the pumpkin shortage.
“So this year we had a little struggle getting pumpkins,” said Marc Williams of Marco Jewelers.
Williams provides pumpkins for the festival every year. They are given away free of charge to kids. This year, their normal pumpkin provider lost over four acres his crops due to the intense rain.
“Well I didn’t find out until Wednesday that we weren’t gonna have pumpkins so I started frantically making phone calls and everyone else I knew started making phone calls,” recalled Williams.
Thankfully, one local farmer was able to provide from a patch out of the area, but due to the low supply and increased demand for the plump orange produce. These jack-o-lanterns are coming at a higher cost, but the kids attending the festival won’t be walking away empty-handed.
“They’ll be a tent set up and the kids come and we have decorations for them they decorate the pumpkins and its a really good time for the kids,” described Williams.
If you’re interested in getting in on the festival fun in Luzerne, it runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and rest assured, there will be plenty of pumpkins.