PHOENIX - It may not feel like it in the Valley quite yet, but fall is upon us, which means it will soon be all things pumpkin.
In a few short weeks, families will be searching for the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween, and with all the rain Arizona received this monsoon season, a local farmer says there will be plenty of gourds to choose from.
"Usually, we have 200-pound pumpkins, all different colors. They have red pumpkins, green pumpkins, green pumpkins, they have white pumpkins," said Wade Kelsall with Mother Nature's Farm.
He's busy getting the farm in Gilbert ready for the opening day of pumpkin season.
He's anxiously awaiting 10 truckloads, or 400,000 pounds, of pumpkins. He says last year's "non-soon" season put a damper on the season.
"It really shortened up the crop a lot because then we were relying on all of the irrigation, SRP, we were relying on CPAP water, relying on everyone else's water," Kelsall explained.
This year, with mother nature's help, he says crops like corn, cucumbers and squash will be making an abundant comeback. Also on that list, pumpkins.
"We had good rain. Not like a monsoon where it rains every day, we had good breaks so it could dry out. When it dries out, pumpkins grow, they get the water," Kelsall said.
Intermittent rain is what made the difference this season, he says.
"The number one disease in pumpkin crop is mold and mildew and it rots the pumpkins before they can ever get ripe," Kelsall said.
While the monsoon rain did its part, Kelsall hopes a few other factors will cooperate, ensuring a spooktacular pumpkin season.
"Trucking is in a shortage right now and gas prices are still high. It's hard to get things delivered," Kelsall said, adding, "Last year, I had to go get some. I had to drive down to Tucson to go get some myself instead of waiting for a truck to become available."
Find more information on the pumpkin patch here.
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