VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) — A crisp, late September morning brings lots of families out to local pumpkin patches. But this fall, there might be new challenges for Kentucky growers, from inflation to weather impacts.
8-year-old Michael Coody and his little brother were impressed by the pumpkins at Eckert's Orchard in Versailles.
"They're huge! I like them," Coody told us.
But what about the price of the pumpkins as inflation impacts farmers nationwide? Eckert's general manager Megan Fields says for the most part, local growers like their orchard have been able to keep costs down. This year, pumpkins cost $0.79 per pound, which is up slightly from 2021.
"We're like any other farm," Fields said. "We have had increases in some of the things we use at the farm, but we've been able to stabilize with our prices, because we do grow our own fruit and we don't ship it in."
However, the weather was another challenge for pumpkin growers this year. June was dry and July brought record heat.
The gourd news: Fields says late summer rain and an irrigation system mean their pumpkins are prime for the picking this fall.
And she says even inflation won't keep families away from the patch.
"You may see folks not spending $100, they may spend $75," she said. They just budget a little differently when they do come out. But we're still seeing the same amount of people come out this year."
At Eckert's, pumpkins should be available to pick through the end of October.