Florida well known for its prosperous produce growth. One thing that doesn’t thrive in Florida, pumpkins. The humidity, the sandy soil and the extreme temperatures make growing pumpkins very difficult in the sunshine state.
So where do all the pumpkins come from that we see at grocery stores, roadside stands and stores come from? Like many of Florida’s residents, they come from up north. Pumpkin patch owners and retail stores have the arduous task of contacting and coordinating pumpkin deliveries from farmers up north in order to have a supply for the Halloween season. They start planning and organizing logistics for the next year immediately after Halloween every year and start getting the field ready with plows and tractors, which usually need spare tractor parts hanging around since the ground can be a bit rough on the equipment.
Some pumpkin patch owners go all out for the season. Due to the high risk and low yield of pumpkin sales, some of the owners such as But Mueller order a hybrid pumpkin specially designed to resist heat and humidity. This allows him to have longer lasting pumpkins, which in turn gives him more time to sell them before they go bad.
Where do most of the pumpkins come from? Illinois. Illinois has 20,400 acres of pumpkin farms within its state lines. The next closest state is Pennsylvania with 6,900 acres. Illinois does more than $32 million in pumpkin sales every year from their 500 pumpkin farms.
Although many places down here use pumpkins from many different states, they all have the same problem. When the last pumpkin gets sold, that’s all there is. There is no way to replenish since all of the pumpkins have to be imported.
So the next time you drive through the city, remember that many pumpkins you see sitting outside of homes in Miami are actually from up north.