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Press Releases

September 28, 2016
Governor McAuliffe Declares October as Virginia Pumpkin Month
The Commonwealth has approximately 3,000 acres of wholesale pumpkins valued at more than $6 million
Contact: Dawn Eischen, 804.786.1904

The Commonwealth’s farmers began harvesting pumpkins around Labor Day and will continue until Halloween, making October the perfect time to visit a farm to pick your own pumpkins, attend a fall festival or enjoy your favorite pumpkin recipe.

Pumpkins are grown across the state, with most of the commercial pumpkin production in Southwest Virginia where there are higher elevations and cooler temperatures. Actual conditions may vary slightly by region, but many farmers are reporting a good growing season that produced a quality crop with excellent color and stems. In fact, according to the Virginia Pumpkin Growers’ Association, the Commonwealth has approximately 3,000 acres of wholesale pumpkins valued at more than $6 million.

“As more farmers take advantage of the state’s favorable environment for growing pumpkins, Virginia has new economic opportunities for the marketing of pumpkins and other farm merchandise through festivals, activities, direct sales and buyer contacts, resulting in a stronger agriculture industry for the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Commissioner, Sandy Adams. “I encourage you to support your local farmers and Virginia’s economy by purchasing Virginia Grown pumpkins.”

To acknowledge the work of pumpkin growers and the value of pumpkins to the Commonwealth, Governor Terence R. McAuliffe has proclaimed October as Pumpkin Month.

Virginia is home to more than 200 pumpkin growers, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This figure includes the Commonwealth’s wholesale growers, as well as many pick-your-own pumpkin farms that sell directly to consumers.

VDACS offers the following pumpkin carving tips:

  • Decide in advance how you plan to display your pumpkin so you can pick the best size, shape and surface for your project. Pumpkins with smooth surfaces are easier to paint, but the bumpy surface pumpkins can add a scary touch. 
  • Always choose pumpkins that are firm, unblemished and have a stem. 
  • To maintain freshness, store your pumpkin in a cool, dry space until you are ready to decorate or carve it. 
  • To keep a carved pumpkin from drying out and wrinkling, rub petroleum jelly or vegetable oil on the cut surfaces and keep it out of heat and direct sunlight.

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