October is Virginia Pumpkin Month

pumpkinEverywhere you turn, pumpkin is on the menu—pumpkin coffees, pumpkin ales, pumpkin breads and more. Last year, Americans spent more than $300 million on pumpkin-flavored products, according to market research from Nielsen. With all the excitement surrounding this fall favorite, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages consumers to pick up real, Virginia Grown pumpkins this season too.

To promote Virginia pumpkins, Governor Terry McAuliffe proclaims October as “Virginia Pumpkin Month” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Click here to view the Governor’s Proclamation.

Virginia is home to approximately 200 pumpkin growers with about 3,000 acres of wholesale pumpkins valued at more than $6 million, according to the Virginia Pumpkin Growers’ Association. In addition, many pick-your-own pumpkin farms sell directly to the consumer. An increasing number of Virginia farmers have effectively utilized the state’s favorable environment for growing pumpkins, taking advantage of higher elevations and cooler temperatures to produce a high-value crop that consumers enjoy.

The Commonwealth’s farmers have been harvesting pumpkins for three or four weeks now and will continue to pick for another week or two. Pumpkins are grown across the state, with most of the commercial pumpkin production in Southwest Virginia. Actual conditions may vary slightly by region, but farmers are reporting a good growing season with excellent color.

Virginia Grown pumpkins are available at grocery stores, markets, pick-your-own farms and roadside stands. As we head into the peak pumpkin season, consumers should find plenty of pie pumpkins, squash, gourds, mini pumpkins and other specialty varieties of every size, shape and color for carving or cooking.

Consumers may search for farms, markets, events and pumpkin recipes online at VirginiaGrown.com. VDACS encourages consumers to call ahead to confirm availability and hours of operation.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by May 15, 2019, and expected to retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.


The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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