Pumpkin picking starts despite severe summer drought
Summer’s drought is impacting fall crops like pumpkins.
As the pumpkin-picking season gets underway, second-generation farmer Norman Grieg said patrons will notice this year’s pumpkins are smaller.
"If you want a big pumpkin, you have to water it every week," he said. "August, we didn't see any (rain), today we had an inch."
Thursday's rain was much needed at Greig Farm in Red Hook, but it's been a rare sight across the Hudson Valley.
According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, Dutchess County had its second driest August on record and 68% of the county is still in a severe drought.
"Each crop that you grow, you can plant it, you can care for it, but if it doesn't get water, it doesn't grow," said Greig.
It's caused many farmers to invest in irrigation equipment, which Greig luckily already had. He needs it to water his 20 acres of pumpkins.
The farm grows 32 varieties of pumpkins and gourds.
Greig Farm is open for apple and pumpkin picking seven days a week.
Picking the best pumpkin is really subjective, but the farm offers some tips:
-If you're picking to carve a pumpkin, it's a good idea to know what design you want. That will help you decide what color to get and how big of a smooth surface you want..
-Don't use the stem as a handle, they aren't strong enough to hold the weight of a pumpkin, especially the bigger ones.
-Bring a rag to wipe your pumpkin so you can better inspect it.