Pumpkins push past poor growing season for Halloween - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Pumpkins push past poor growing season for Halloween

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Elk Mound (WQOW) - We're less than two weeks away from Halloween; and while pumpkin sales have hit their stride, the growing season was a different story.

"This year was tougher, no question," said Dan Scharlau, Pleasant Valley Tree Farm Owner.

Whether you're looking for the biggest pumpkin in the patch, or something a bit smaller, pumpkins of all sizes have had a hard time making it to Halloween this year.

"We still ended up with about sixty percent of the crop that we needed for our own use. And then I had to purchase about another forty or fifty percent of the pumpkins this year from local growers," Scharlau explained.

Blame for the pumpkin problems falls on the dry weather earlier this year.

"Drought conditions that we had in July and August. Pretty much after the fourth of July it dried up and we didn't get start getting rain again until September," said Scharlau.

The rain that fell Sunday was past due, and it also kept many people away from the pumpkin patch.

"It is predicted by the weather pretty much. I mean if we have favorable weather, yeah we'll do maybe fifteen percent more business. We've had I think three out of the five Saturdays we've been open have been bad weather," Scharlau added.

So if you're still searching for one to adorn your doorway, growers say their gourds have good shelf life.

"If they don't have any blemishes on them or any marks on them where they're going to start to rot or spoil then they should do fine. They'll make it six to eight weeks," said Scharlau.

As for the ones that aren't headed to a doorstep near you…

"Anything that we have left, people contact us on them and they take them for deer feed basically, for hunting purposes or whatever," Scharlau said.

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