Pumpkin patches producing aplenty High yields, good demand reported

October 28, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Jack O'Lantern should find it easy to make friends in Carroll County this year, as area farmers report high yields and a good demand for their pumpkin crops.

"We've probably had the largest crop of pumpkins we've ever had," said Allan Baugher of Baugher's Apple Orchard and Packing House. "We had a real nice, quality crop of pumpkins and sold well. We've already cut our wholesale buyers to keep enough for our retail customers."

Mr. Baugher sells pumpkins wholesale to chain stores in the Baltimore area and roadside market owners near Washington.

Retail sales are pick-your-own at his farm on Baugher Road in Westminster.

Wayne Horner, of Spring Meadow Farms in Upperco, agreed.

"It was a better-than-average crop," he said of this year's production. "It was about 200 percent better than last year's. Last year was too dry."

In fact, this summer brought a little too much rain for the pumpkins, Mr. Horner said.

"It was actually too wet," he said. "But I took care of them and ended up with a real good crop and real good quality."

Demand also was high, and he sold most of his pumpkins wholesale by last Monday, Mr. Horner said.

"Mine are sold for jack-o'-lanterns, every last one of them," he said.

"They're sold from New York to Georgia and everywhere in between."

Tom Ford, of the Carroll County Extension Agency, said this summer's weather helped make these farmers' experiences common for pumpkin growers countywide.

"We usually like hot and wet weather to get a good size for a pumpkin," he said.

"The moisture will cause some problems with leaf diseases, but farmers will prevent that with a spraying program.

"They aren't going to complain as far as yields go this year."

Mr. Ford said the high demand also has been common this year.

"We have had people from outside the county trying to hook up with local producers for pumpkins," he said. "I think the state of the farm economy overall has reduced the number of growers somewhat.

"But, wholesalers in produce want the same volume, and the increased demand has kept the price steady."

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