Pumpkin Harvest Down in Maine
Mother Nature was not kind to Maine farmers this year, and that includes the pumpkin crop.All the rain in June and July caused seedlings to turn to mush in the soil or rot out the vines.Those patches that did survive the soaking, are now having a hard time turning from green to orange.This year’s harvest is expected to be off by about 50%, according to the Associated Press.Some farmers in Maine are fairing well when it comes to their pumpkin patches.And that includes Albert Tate of Tate’s Strawberry farm in corinth.As Joy Hollowell tells us, he’s hoping to turn the worst season ever for strawberries into the best season yet for pumpkins.+++++++++++”I put in 20,000 seeds. I raised them up on a raised beds, and we said the worst that could happen was give them water if it didn’t rain. It rained 20 inches in three weeks,” says Albert Tate.All that water, combined with some hot and humid days in August, have turned into this.”What ruined my strawberries actually helped the pumpkins,” says Albert Tate.Tate estimates he has 25 to 30,000 pumpkins available for picking this season. There are five varieties, to please pumpkin pie makers as well as jack-o-latern decorators.”I put in a couple acres last year and I did well with it, so I said, ‘Well, I’ll go three times that size.’ They’re all out here orange right now, so I’m happy we get a good crop,” says Albert Tate.Tate hopes his pumpkin crop will make up for the sagging strawberry sales. “I’m a farmer and that’s been in my blood ever since I was a baby. So, we’re gonna keep on going,” says Albert Tate.Tate says his pumpkins range in price from three to five dollars. His farm is open every day, from 7 AM until dark.Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5 News, Corinth.