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Press Releases

October 12, 2018
October is Pumpkin Month in Virginia
The Commonwealth has approximately 2,400 acres of wholesale pumpkins
Contact: Michael Wallace, 804.786.1904

Celebrate Virginia Pumpkin Month this October by purchasing Virginia Grown pumpkins. 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, to decorate your home or to make 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. Virginia’s consumers can expect to find pumpkins in just about every size, shape and color, with variety names such as Cinderella, Warty Goblin, Jarradale, Fairy Tale and Blanco, to name a few

The Commonwealth is home to more than 200 commercial pumpkin growers and has approximately 2,400 acres of wholesale pumpkins, according to the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) survey. These figures include Virginia’s wholesale growers, as well as any pick-your-own pumpkin farms that sell directly to consumers.

To acknowledge the work of Virginia’s pumpkin growers and the value of pumpkins to the Commonwealth, Governor Ralph S. Northam has proclaimed October as Pumpkin Month.

“Pumpkins are one of Virginia’s most fun farm commodities and are available at grocery stores, markets, pick-your-own farms and roadside stands. As we head into the peak pumpkin season, consumers should find plenty of pie pumpkins, squash, gourds, mini pumpkins and other specialty varieties of every size, shape and color for decorating, carving or cooking,” said Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Commissioner, Jewel Bronaugh. “I encourage all Virginians to support local farmers and the local economy by celebrating Pumpkin Month with Virginia Grown pumpkins.”

To help you enjoy your Virginia Grown pumpkin, 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.

Note to Editors: Photographs of Virginia pumpkins are available in VDACS’ Flickr album. Please credit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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