2018 is not a great year for New England pumpkins.
Downy Mildew was detected in New England fields starting in early August. Downy Mildew occurs worldwide and where conditions of temperature and humidity allow its establishment and can result in major losses to cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, and other cucurbits. Fortunately it occurs sporadically in this region, usually appearing late enough in the growing season that yield is not impacted (except for this year). Downy Mildew defoliates the leaves on pumpkin plants, meaning many of the pumpkins you’ll find this season will have sun spots from over exposure.
Also thanks to a very wet season, pumpkin growers have struggled with a number of different types of fruit rot. Especially susceptible to rot are big Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins. Sugar pumpkins tend to hold up a bit better.
It is important to note the the fruit rot and Downy Mildew are not dangerous to people. There’s plenty to be afraid of in 2018, I promise I’m not adding pumpkins to the list.
Lazy Acres Farm in Hadley, MA did have some successful fields of medium sized pumpkins, and we want to share them with you! This season, at Barstow’s you’ll find smaller pumpkins, sun-spots and all.
We remain committed to supporting our local farmers and selling produce at our farmstand that represents our community.
If you have your heart set on a big-ol pumpkin, we can’t blame you! You can probably find them at WalMart or other big retailers, trucked in from farms outside of New England.
Lucky for us, this Fright Fest…errr Blight Fest… doesn’t impact the flavors of fall in the bakery case! Yum!