Virginia pumpkins perfect for fall decorating, carving, eating
Make plans now to pick-up fresh Virginia-grown pumpkins as they are arriving daily at pick-your-own farms, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, grocery stores and retailers around the state.
Farmers began harvesting pumpkins around Labor Day and will continue until Halloween, making October the perfect time to visit a farm to pick your own pumpkins, complete fall decorating, or enjoy your favorite pumpkin recipe.
To acknowledge the work of the nearly 400 pumpkin growers who cultivate and harvest pumpkins in the Commonwealth and to recognize the value of pumpkins to the state’s economy, Governor Ralph S. Northam has proclaimed October as Virginia Pumpkin Month.
“We love celebrating our pumpkin farmers here in Virginia. They have found increasingly innovative ways to both grow and market their products, and consumers have responded enthusiastically,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “In addition to fall décor, pumpkins are a highly nutritious, low-carb fruit. Celebrate fall and support local agriculture by purchasing Virginia Grown pumpkins.”
In 2019, Virginia pumpkin farmers planted 5,700 acres of pumpkins and harvested 5,600 acres that were valued at $16.4 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. These figures include Virginia’s wholesale growers, as well as any pick-your-own pumpkin farms that sell directly to consumers. Pumpkins are grown across the Commonwealth with most of the state’s commercial pumpkin production occurring in Southwest Virginia, as farmers have taken advantage of higher elevations and cooler temperatures to produce a high-value crop that consumers enjoy.
“Consumers can expect to find a variety of pumpkins this fall in just about every size, shape and color. Virginia grown pumpkins are perfect for decorating, carving or eating,” said VDACS Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh. “Plan a visit to a pick-your-own pumpkin farm for a memorable family-friendly, outdoor experience that adheres to physical distancing guidelines. Be sure to call ahead to learn of any new protocols farms have instituted to protect guests from COVID-19.”
Virginia pumpkins are also available at local retailers, farmers’ markets, farm stands, roadside stands, or search VirginiaGrown.com for a retailer near you.