But this year, due to heavy spring rains in much of the country's pumpkin-producing regions, many families will find slim pickings at the pumpkin patch, reports the Washington Times. For some growers, the impact will be seen mostly in the tiny pumpkins that are often given away free to young visitors. But other pumpkin farms have lost their entire crops to rain or are experiencing a delayed harvest that means that pumpkins won't be ripe for picking until after Halloween.
What's more frightening than a Halloween without jack o'lanterns? How about a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Illinois, who leads the country in pumpkin production, had a weak harvest last year and that, combined with this year's problems, has impacted the availability of canned pumpkin.
Reports of bare shelves in the grocery stores over the past few months have sparked fears of a Thanksgiving dinner with no pumpkin pie for desert. But Roz O'Hearn, a spokeswoman for Nestle SA, parent company of Libby's, tells the Washington Times that it is too early to tell. "Harvest 2009 is still going on, and it was wet at the start, but we are seeing a turnaround," she says. "I think America will be OK for Thanksgiving."
I hope she's right. But if you are out doing some shopping and spot some pumpkins -- canned or otherwise -- perhaps you should snap a few up before they are all gone. But please leave some for the rest of us!