Plenty of pumpkins for holidays
There are plenty of pumpkins available for Halloween jack o’lanterns, and probably for Thanksgiving as well.
National reports that pumpkin crops are down by one-third to about a half this year prompted University of Illinois Professor Mohammad Babadoost to say consumers shouldn’t wait too long to buy canned pumpkin for pies.
“I would not wait until Nov. 20,” Babadoost told the Chicago Tribune, referencing the Nov. 26 holiday. “I’d buy it whenever it comes to the store.”
However, Babadoost later told Eat This, Not That! magazine that the reporters “added their flair” and his message was misconstrued. There are fewer pumpkins than usual, but a shortage of canned pumpkins isn’t anticipated.
A spokesman for Libby’s agreed. (CNN notes Libby’s has an estimated 80 percent of the canned pumpkin market.) Reporters at the Chicago Tribune and CNN were told that company expects enough canned pumpkin to make it through the holiday, but says it will be tight.
Buying a pumpkin for a jack o’lantern can be as simple as adding it to the family shopping list, or it can become an event.
First Christian Church at 5230 Broadway Ave. offers pumpkins of all sizes, from 50-cent minis to their largest size, estimated at 45 pounds, which costs $30.
The church received more than 1,500 pumpkins and gourds, including the kid-sized “Spookies.” Families can also pose for a photo in the hay bale decor and pick up coloring pages and stickers for the kids.
“This basically raises money for our mission trip,” said Garrett Roddui, one of the high school youth group members. The teens will be traveling to Denver to help at a home for abused and neglected children.
The youth group for middle school students will visit the Kansas Christian Home in Newton. Members Sienna Cauley and Ethan Reneau explained that the home helps retired ministers, missionaries and others.
The Rev. Sue Bishop, associate pastor, said the church first offered the Pumpkin Patch in 2010, and always uses the money raised for children’s or youth programs. Sometimes entire preschools plan a visit; children make a craft item and get a Spooky to take home.
The church’s pumpkins are purchased from a Navajo Indian reservation in Ship Rock, New Mexico, and that helps support over 400 jobs in the poorest American Indian nation, Bishop said.
Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.