By Jessica Domel
Pies, jack-o-lanterns and festivals, oh my!
It’s pumpkin time and Texans are lining up for holiday frights and tasty delights.
Welcome to Floydada, Pumpkin Capital USA, where up to 1,400 acres are home to 15 to 20 million pumpkins annually.
Floydada also is the base of Pumpkin Pyle, a three-generation family farm that this year planted 400 acres for pumpkin patches across the state.
“Each year, we try to find new and neat stuff that people would like to buy and sell,” says owner Jason Pyle.
He grows the traditional brilliant orange pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns. He also grows beautiful ornamentals: white, green, long stem, short stem, small and giant, along with tasty cooking varieties for the finest pumpkin pie.
If conditions are right, one acre produces 50,000 pounds. Considering most are handpicked, that makes pumpkin farming hard work.
This year’s crop is about average. Harvest, which started in September, suffered weather delays this year.
“We started out just fine, but we had some untimely rains,” Pyle said.
No reason to worry though. Thanks to farmers like Pyle, there should be plenty of pumpkins to celebrate the fall season.
And that means glowing goblins and a slice of pumpkin pie for millions of Texas families.