Some California Pumpkin Crops Ripening Way Before Halloween Due To High Temperatures

Californians might be making a rush on the fake pumpkin aisle for their Halloween displays this year, as high temperatures have pushed the gourds to ripen much faster than they usually would. That could mean a jack-o-lanternless holiday for many, at least when it comes to the hand-carved kind.

At some Northern Californian pumpkin farms, the summer heat has seen pumpkins growing old before their time and withering on the vine, reports CBS Sacramento.

“The early heat that we had brought the crop forward quite a bit,” one farmer explained, noting that some of his pumpkins have been orange for at least two weeks already.

When the wee pumpkins burst out to greet the light, the summer sun has been pounding them relentlessly.

“With this heat, compounded heat, it’s just withered away,” the farmer said. “It’s going to be soft if we don’t get it off the vine and into somebody’s hands.”

He says he and his staff are working hard to save Halloween, despite the heat. It could hit customers, too — if pumpkin patches don’t have as many pumpkins to sell, farmers might increase the price to compensate for the product that never made it to market.

This isn’t the first time drought-stricken California has had pumpkin concerns — ABC 7 reported last year that a brutal autumn heat wave combined with the ongoing drought resulted in fewer pumpkins, many of which were much smaller than usual.

California is the second-largest pumpkin producer, after Illinois.

High Temperatures Bring Fear California Pumpkin Crop May Not Last Until Halloween [CBS Sacramento]

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