Howell Farms has grown pumpkins since the 1980s during its retail farm market days. In those early years, the acreage of pumpkins was only enough to supply our market and the children on school tours. Since 2005, however, the acreage has grown to an economic scale which encompasses several hundred acres.
Pumpkins fill a niche in our crop mix rotation and afford synergies in production with our tomato crop. They are relatively easy to plant in the spring after all the other crops are in. They require basically the same scouting and spray schedule as tomatoes during the summer, and we have the management capacity to handle the intense and unique harvest process this crop demands. Pumpkins, like tomatoes, are a high value, high risk crop but provide a portion of the diversity we need in our operations. We maintain a four year rotation for the pumpkin fields and are always investigating areas where “new” pumpkin fields may be acquired either through a purchase or short term lease.
Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins comprise the bulk of the crop but the addition of smaller pie pumpkins, the large mixed autumn couleur, and white pumpkins allow us to offer variety and assortment to our customers. We field pack our pumpkins into bins by size on pallets which are loaded onto converted school buses and flat-bed trailers. We bring them into our warehouse where they are stored for the short turn-around time, usually 24 hours or less, before sending them out to customers. Most are shipped in semi-trailer loads to major retailers. We do, however, welcome and accommodate customers who just need a few bins and we frequently participate with fund raising pumpkin sales with local organizations. We appreciate and work hard to please our long term customers but are always interested in acquiring new ones.
If you would like to contact us about contracting acreage or are just interested in a few loads, give us a call.