Southside Pumpkin Farms Prepare for Cold

Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: R.J. Burnette

Danville, VA - Southside farmers say they survived the heat of summer, but now pumpkin growers say cooler than normal temperatures have them worried about this year's harvest.

"You know when it's cooler we've got to protect them and make sure the mold and the mildew don't start on them," said David Owen, co-owner of Owen Farm.

Pumpkins can be picky; especially when it comes to weather. Farmers at Owen Farm are keeping a close eye on the cold.

"It depends on the weather. If we can get up into mid-October, the 15 of October, We'll still be cutting fresh pumpkins," said David Owen.

Pumpkins on the east coast have literally been roughing the storm. Crops throughout the northeast were decimated by Hurricane Irene.

Pattie Owen, co-owner of Owen Farm says the north is going to have a shortage of pumpkins this year, and that benefits pumpkin pickers like her.

"I've had several calls from people in Halifax who normally get their road-side pumpkins by the truck load from north and bring them back toward the South Boston, Halifax area and we've had several calls from farmers down there who would like to have enough to do road-side sales," said Pattie Owen.

For now, it's just a waiting game as growers hope their crop will be ready for the hundreds that flood the farm for pumpkin picking every October.

"We're managing. We work hard. Pumpkins are something you have to baby-sit every day," said Pattie. Owen.

"We've been excited for weeks now, just getting ready for all the little kids, the moms and dads and the smiling faces. Putting a smile on somebody's face, that's what we look forward to," said David Owen.

Owen Farm growers say if all goes according to plan, they'll have sold nearly 10,000 pumpkins by November 1.