Dry conditions lead to smaller pumpkin patch for local farm

Local News

LENNOX, S.D. (KELO) – With fall starting Wednesday, you may be thinking about heading out to the pumpkin patch. With this year’s dry conditions, if you want a good selection of gourds, you’ll want to go early.

Stop by The Good Earth Farm just south of Lennox and you’ll find a variety of pumpkins to choose from.

But owner Nancy Kirstein said this year’s crop is smaller compared to previous years.

“When we did start planting, not only was it pretty dry but it was also hot, so when you put those little seed starts out there, they need a lot of water and they need some cool temps, kind of like humans do, to acclimate to the hot temperature,” Kirstein said.

She says the land is sandy and dries out quickly. Without much rain this spring and summer, the ground dried out.

“We both had to hand water the pumpkins, we have an implement on the tractor that holds about 50 gallons of water so one of us would drive and the other would walk behind and water all the pumpkins,” intern Savannah Busby said.

Kirstein says July rain did help the pumpkin patch.

“If it hadn’t been for that, the pumpkins wouldn’t, and the rest of the gardens actually, they wouldn’t have produced quite what they did, and we were actually fortunate to pull as much as we did out of the space that planted as we did,” Kirstein said.

She says they are still picking some pumpkins from the patch, and they’ll be selling them until they run out.

“We are pretty fortunate where we are situated and I know there’s producers around us that maybe didn’t fared as well and some that fared way better than we did,” Kirstein said.

Kirstein says they usually plant about 3 to 5 acres of pumpkins but only did about a half-acre this year. She says in the ground they didn’t get planted, they were able to put in a cover crop, which will make the ground better for next year.

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