There are a lot of fun things to do for the harvest in October. You can enjoy fresh cider at an apple orchard. Stop by a pumpkin patch and pick out your future jack-o-lantern. Or get lost in a corn maze. While spending the day on a farm is fun, it’s not required to enjoy the fresh produce from the harvest. Even those who live in town can enjoy a local harvest festival.
But this year, there’s been a lot of bad news for farmers and the harvest. A late frost hit apple orchards hard, forcing some to close for the year and others to import apples. And the warmer than usual weather which we enjoyed in the winter was followed by hotter and drier conditions in the summer. So the corn fields are struggling to produce a normal amount of corn, let alone the record amount that was predicted early in the season.
Pumpkins get planted later then apple trees blossom or corn is planted, so there was hope that pumpkins would not be affected by the weather. The past two years, heavy rains late in the season have resulted in limited pumpkin yields. This year, the culprit might be the heat and lack of rain. The latest reports from Indiana and Illinois this year haven’t been promising for pumpkins.
Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch in Johnson City, IL was the subject of a WSILTV news report. The drought delayed the planting of the pumpkin patch and they have to irrigate the field in order to encourage growth.
If you have a pumpkin patch, I would love to know how your field is doing at this point compared to other years. Photos would be appreciated, too!