DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As farmers continue working to make our lives as normal as possible, one crop has become a staple during the fall season: pumpkins.
How is the pumpkin crop doing in the Wiregrass?
Hurricanes and COVID-19 have marked the biggest challenges to this year’s pumpkin crop.
“We had a little bit of a problem earlier on when we had all that rain from one of the first hurricanes that passed by us,” said Aplin Farms co-owner John Aplin. “We lost a few pumpkins then but we’ve still got a lot of pumpkins.”
Although Aplin Farms grows smaller sized pumpkins, it relies on coastal areas for larger gourds. However, those areas have also been affected by the rain.
“They’re telling us that a lot of those pumpkins are running short because a lot of folks are buying more pumpkins this year,” Aplin explained. “With some of the hurricanes and that stuff on the coast, some of the coastal pumpkins got messed up with the water.”
But the pumpkins in most demand this year?
“Miscellaneous pumpkins,” Aplin told WDHN. “The blue ones, the pink ones, the tan ones. All of that different stuff. There’s a pretty good supply of orange pumpkins, but all of the odd stuff is running pretty short now.”
In good news, COVID-19 hasn’t had a major impact on the pumpkin crop. It has, however, resulted in larger crowds and more demand.
“Other than the increase in crowd, that’s about it.” Aplin said.
But the crowds have made weekends hectic at the farm. So much so that Aplin is asking the public to visit during the work week if possible.
“If you have an opportunity to come during the week in the afternoons, make that choice,” Aplin said. “Because weekends, people are driving by and not even stopping. They’re telling us they drove by Saturday or we drove by Sunday and it was so busy we just came back on Tuesday.”
Aplin Farms is open from one p.m. to six p.m. Monday through Friday. Again, the farm encourages you to stop by during the work week.