October is Virginia Pumpkin Month
Everywhere you turn, pumpkin is on the menu — pumpkin coffees, pumpkin ales, pumpkin breads and more. Last year, Americans spent more than $350 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 commercial pumpkin growers, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This figure includes the Commonwealth’s wholesale growers, as well as many pick-your-own pumpkin farms that sell directly to consumers.
The Commonwealth’s farmers began harvesting pumpkins around Labor Day and will continue until Halloween. Pumpkins are grown across the state, with most of the commercial pumpkin production in Southwest Virginiawhere there are higher elevations and cooler temperatures. Actual conditions may vary slightly by region, but many farmers are reporting a good growing season that produced a quality crop with excellent color and stems.
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.
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.