How important are pumpkins to your Halloween festivities? For me, they are utterly crucial to the celebration.
Halloween without a jack-o’-lantern is like Christmas without a pine tree, Easter without any eggs and election day without any smear ads. It just doesn’t happen.
But this year, it just might be a pumpkinless holiday for many pumpkin procrastinators. Between heavy rains rotting seeds in the ground, harsh summer temps reducing fruiting blossoms and two mysterious pumpkin rots attacking pumpkins in the field, a significant portion of the pumpkin harvest this year has been ruined.
The question is, does these problems really affect the small end consumers (that would be you and me) in shopping for a Halloween pumpkin?
Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on who you talk to.
The ever reliable news says that you should worry and that the pumpkin end of the world as we know it is nigh. I think they have said the same thing about West Nile Virus, Killer Bees and Bird Flu too, but this could be the time they get it right.
Yes, there has been a significant reduction in the number of pumpkins that have been harvested, but the Halloween Pumpkin Market makes up only a portion of the overall pumpkin economy. I mean, where do you think they get the pumpkin for all those tasty Thanksgiving pumpkin pies (or cans of pumpkin for those of you who make your own tasty pumpkin treats)?
Halloween pumpkins also demand a higher premium, so chances are the pumpkin food market will suffer before the Halloween market does.
You may see a slight increase in the price of pumpkin pies and other pumpkin products. You may even see a rise in the prices of your Halloween pumpkins, but that is only because the pumpkins for sale at your local market may have had to be imported from another state due to a local shortage but this happens almost every year.
Pumpkins are tricky to grow and every year there are always a few areas that are short on pumpkins due to crop failures. Every year, there are always localities who have to import their pumpkins from another state.