Heavy rains cause pumpkin shortage at Old Baker Farm

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

HARPERSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) – Heavy rains are causing a tricky pumpkin season for some farms. Old Baker Farm is reporting a loss of 95 percent of its crop this year.

For thousands of families, it’s a family tradition to visit the farm for a pumpkin.

“As it’s kind of evolved over the years we make sure to visit in the fall so that we can go do the hayride and find pumpkins and get lost in a corn maze,” said Shelly Smith who took her kids to the farm on Monday. “It’s just good to be able to support families who work hard and who have great atmospheres for your family.”  

Whether it’s working your way through the corn maze or catching a hayride, the Bakers want you to have the best experience when you visit.

“The rain wouldn’t quit and [the pumpkins] can’t handle that,” owner and operator Jerry Baker said. “It’s not going to look much different to them other than when they get to the pumpkin patch, the vines are all died down now and you won’t be able to pick them off the vine. I’m sorry about that.”

Baker said the unprecedented rain of this year left less than five percent of what he planted this season, making for another tough year after hardly any visitors at the beginning of the pandemic last year. He said it was a loss of nearly 40,000 to 50,000 pumpkins.

The farm has been ordering pumpkins from as far as Michigan and got gipped last weekend nearly half of an order, causing them to run out of pumpkins for their customers.

“People don’t like that they come to a pumpkin patch to get a pumpkin, but that won’t happen again,” Baker said.

Smith and her family said they feel the pain being small business owners – and say that shouldn’t stop people from coming back.

“It just makes me want to support them even more,” Smith said. “Small businesses are slowly becoming less and less so if we can support local, we like to do so.”

Baker said he ordered at least five more truckloads of pumpkins so there will not be a shortage for the farm’s largest festival of the year, the Cotton-Picking Celebration this weekend.

The farm offered free passes to the upcoming festival for anyone who was unable to get a pumpkin last weekend.

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