Pumpkin patches run dry

By Sara Story - bio | email

BULLARD, TX (KLTV) - It's the time of year for families to pick out their holiday pumpkins, but the extremely dry conditions have left pumpkin patches in short supply. In fact, East Texas farmers say their entire fall crop is scarce because of the lack of rainfall.

Picking the perfect pumpkin is not always an easy task. "It's too hard for me," said Kurtley Smith,4, as she looked for a pumpkin to take home. Growing the perfect pumpkins can be just as difficult.

Lesley Moore, the owner of Moore Farms, says the dry weather conditions have reduced the number of pumpkins in her pumpkin patch by half. She said, "We are used to getting, from July when we plant the pumpkins on, if we can get an average of an inch a week, we are super. We went like eight to ten weeks without anything. Last week was our first big rainfall, and it is already dusty because it just sucked it up."

"Last year it was still really green, and you could see where [the pumpkins] were actually cut off the vines and even some that hadn't been cut off yet. This year it is really dry and drought conditions," said Lindsey Terry, a pumpkin picker.

Despite the lack of moisture, families like the Terrys, have plenty of pumpkins to choose from. "We got large ones, and we got some fat ones, and even a little small ones that are little softer for him to pull out the middles," said Terry.

The Moores say this variety is a result of planning, especially since there was a drought at the beginning of summer. They pumped their pond dry and used all of the irrigation on their pumpkin patch instead of their corn crop. "There is a hay maze across from pumpkin patch instead of usual corn maze," said Moore.

Regardless of this year's differences, some things never change. "I wanna make a Jack-O-Lantern," said Smith.

This is the 10th anniversary of the Moore Farm Pumpkin Patch, and the owners expect to see up to 10,000 visitors this year.

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