The vines have been picked through and the pumpkin customers are farther and fewer in between here at Summerset Farm and Dales Nursery in Santa Ynez.
“We start in the middle of September selling and through [October 31st],” explained farmer Dale Bostrum.
Overall Bostrum says it’s been a pretty good year for pumpkin farming, telling us: “Some years we have a really good year, we grow lots of pumpkins, everything takes everything flourishes — some years we don’t have a much luck. This year we did really well on blue pumpkins, large pumpkins [but] regular orange pumpkins we didn’t have quite the crop we had.”
Bostrum says to grow their pumpkins, they use a technique called permaculture, a system of farming based off how plants grow in nature.
“[We] use organic practices and all organic fertilizers and soils. [To] prepare our soil, we grow cover crops in the winter – legumes and things that put nitrogen back in the soil because the pumpkins take out so much,” he explained.
The recent spikes in weather caused some concern for the farm as temperatures in the Santa Ynez Valley reached the triple digits.
“We lost a few pumpkins during that because we had already harvested a lot of them. And then the last few days we had more heat again so it shortens their shelf life for sure,” Bostrum said.
But luckily families have still been able to enjoy their pumpkin patch.
“It’s just a good time to connect with the family and get together and make memories with them,” says pumpkin patch visitor Jennifer Kaatz.
As for the pumpkins they don’t sell, they get fed to local farm animals so no pumpkin goes to waste.