Although farmers in the Midwest will fill some of the void, there is no doubt that pumpkin crops in the Northeast were severely damaged by hurricane Irene. As a matter of fact, some farmers reported that their entire patch of 15 to 20 thousand pumpkins were completely destroyed. Therefore we anticipate a shortage and higher prices. If it’s a family tradition, we strongly recommend buying your pumpkins for Jack-o-Lantern a couple of weeks earlier this year. Remember an uncut pumpkin lasts for weeks if kept in a cool, dry place prior to carving.
So how early can you carve your pumpkins and have them last? We have found that even the most well preserved pumpkins don’t last more than a week. In South Florida due to the hot temperatures, sometimes we only get 2 to 3 days. There are some things you can do to get a few more days out of your pumpkin masterpiece. You could use over the counter products like Pumpkin Fresh, or make a solution at home from lemon and water. Mix 2 ounces of lemon and 2 ounces of water. Shake and spray on the inside and outside of the pumpkin. The acid from the lemon will harden the outside of the pumpkin so it lasts longer. Then spay a little bit of plain water each day on the pumpkin to help preserve it’s moisture. Something else that works is Petroleum jelly. Give the inside and outside of your pumpkin a rub down with Vaseline. Make sure you don’t miss any spots, including all the edges that were cut. I haven’t tried it, but read that vegetable oil is said to have the same affect.
Canned pumpkin companies like Libby say the shortage will not affect canned pumpkin as it did a few years ago, however we have read on several forums comments of shoppers already having trouble finding pumpkin at their local grocery. One of the favorite posts I read on a forum was lashing out at the Pumpkin Poachers – I had to laugh but this is serious to pumpkin lovers.
Visit our Food News and recipes section for more tips. Do you buy your groceries online? Peapod is an online grocery service that delivers your favorite groceries to your home or work. Peapod is not available in all parts of the United States yet so you have to see if they deliver in your state. You can find and use a Peapod Coupon that will help save you a money when you place your order online. A peapod coupon code is a great way to save money and time!