Pumpkins Ready to Harvest

(NORTH OF ORANGE CITY, IA) If you took a walk through these pumpkin fields just a few weeks ago you would have seen a lot of green.

"Well if you look at that one over there, it's about half turned, and then here's some that have come all the way and have got the orange color already," said Dave Huitink, owner of PUMPKINLAND, as he pointed out a few of the pumpkins on the vine.

Huitink says you can thank the sun for that. The heat helped ripen these pumpkins right up.
Even through last year's drought, PUMPKINLAND harvested 15-20,000 pumpkins but they were a lot smaller. That's not a problem this year.

"The pumpkins are generally bigger because they had adequate moisture and they kept growing all year long," he said.

Which may give you a little hope - the great pumpkin may be out there.

"There's a lot of effort that goes into growing the big ones. They control the temperature and they control the sunlight and growers that really get into that, they put a lot of work into it. I have never done that, it's just not worth it to me to grow that big of ones," he said.

Still every year Huitink lets nature do its job and you never know what'll pop up.

He's got an 80 pound pumpkin and that's not even the largest. Huitink says in a few weeks the bigger ones could be more than 100 pounds.

"I think this one's probably about 150 pounds if I had to take a guess," he said, pointing out one of the biggest.

The bigger pumpkins are left on the vine a lot longer - typically until the first frost and at this point Huitink says the weather isn't much of a threat.

"Well, I shouldn't say that. I wouldn't' like to see a hail storm come," he laughed.

PUMPKINLAND is open Monday - Saturday until October 31st. For hours and more information on PUMPKINLAND visit its website: