BETHANY, Conn. (WTNH) — The repeated rainfall is putting a damper on pumpkin season.
Farmers have already had a tough year with flooding in July and now the popular fall crop is taking a big hit.
Clover Nook Farm in Bethany lost 50% of its pumpkin crop due to rot that was caused by rainfall.
Lars Demander, the owner of Clover Nook Farm said the rain caused his farm to lose thousands of pumpkins. He had to outsource more of the crop from elsewhere to meet demand.
“A lot of these soft spots here are white mold and you can push your finger in like that,” Demander said. “Squash, melons, pumpkins, winter squash anything that sits on the soil for a while was pretty much a total disaster.”
Clover Nook Farm is supplementing the crop they lost with pumpkins from Pennsylvania because they are drier and holding up better.
Hindinger Farm in Hamden lost three times the amount of pumpkins this year compared to 2022. Owner Elizabeth Hindinger said they’ve had to make adjustments.
“It’s a recipe for rot when it’s too hot too. Last week, when it was 90 degrees and raining, they just can’t handle it,” she said.
To make your gourds last longer, Hindinger advises you to:
- Keep pumpkins off the grass.
- When it rains move them under a porch or inside
- Wash them with soap, water and a small amount of bleach
- Wait to carve your pumpkins until a few days out from Halloween
Farmers said another issue beyond the crop is the rain impacting weekend plans and sales.
“They’re not picking them out in the rain, so I think tomorrow we’re not going to have too many pumpkin sales,” Hindinger said.
“Especially this year not having a lot, sooner the better otherwise it’s going to be slim pickings at the end,” Demander said.
At Clover Nook Farm the rotted pumpkins are not a complete loss. The farm is using the rotted pumpkins as feed for their cattle.