Wet June creates not-so great pumpkins
PENNINGTON, N.J. - September 24, 2013 -- There will be pumpkins this year, but they may not all come from New Jersey and they'll cost you more.
That's because this fall's crop of jack-o'-lanterns took a beating from Mother Nature after being swamped in the fields by the wettest June in state history.
"These pumpkins were in standing water, possibly up to two weeks straight," Sherry Dudas of Honey Brook Organic Farm said.
Dudas said while the top of the pumpkin may look great, the bottom is covered in fungus, inedible and certainly nothing someone would buy.
"I would say right now it's looking like an 85% crop failure," Dudas said.
Dudas manages the Honey Brook Organic Farm, one of the biggest organic vegetable farms in the state.
At one of her properties in Chesterfield, the 5-acre section should be filled with 3,500 pumpkins, but only a few can be salvaged
Regardless of this summer's weather woes, at this time of year, people start wanting pumpkins. So farmers will be doing whatever they can to make sure when you go shopping, they've got something to sale you.
"What a lot of New Jersey farmers are going to do that sell directly to customers, they are going to go out of state and buy in pumpkins and sell them in their retail markets," Dudas said.
And instead of the $3 to $5 you'd typically pay for a pumpkin, expect to pay more.
"This weekend I saw a pumpkin for sale for $12, a pumpkin which is more like Manhattan prices not South Jersey prices," Dudas said.
"If you have to pay more, then you pay more and there's other years when you pay less because there's pumpkins galore," Colleen White of Bordentown said.
While the pumpkin crop is suffering, Sherry Dudas says this fall may be her best Brussels sprout crop ever.
But you can't carve a Brussels sprout and put it on your front porch.
new jersey news, local/state, nora muchanic
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