Pumpkin shortage plagues local farms

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NORMAN, Okla. – A rainy summer is causing trouble for pumpkin farmers as Halloween approaches.

“We didn’t plant these til 40 days ago,” said Todd Griffith, pointing to a row of vines at TG Farms. “It takes 100-something days to grow a pumpkin.”

Because of a rainy May, Griffith said his fields were soaked.

He couldn’t plant pumpkins until after the Fourth of July.

As a result, few, if any of the pumpkins in his patch are actually his own.

The future jack-o’-lanterns kids are bringing home are imported – many from out of state.

“Oklahoma, we didn’t grow hardly any, because it was so wet in June, when we needed to plant them,” Griffith said.

In 20 years in the pumpkin business, Griffith has gone through shortages before.

Some years, he’s brought crops in from as far away as Michigan.

In good years, his farm sells pumpkins at farmer’s markets and other stores.

This fall, he said he’ll be lucky if his supply lasts the rest of the month.

Kids who come through his pumpkin patch will likely be taking home smaller vegetables, too.

“It’ll hurt,” Griffith said, when asked about his profits. “I’ll need to do a little more landscaping this spring.”

Griffith is staying optimistic, noting people will still visit his two farms for hay rides, corn mazes and other attractions.

But, he knows his other seasonal businesses will have to pickup the slack to help his bottom line.

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