START, LA (06/23/20) Even though Fall and Jack-O-Lantern season is months away, farmers have to start preparing now to make sure they’re ready by then. Curry Farms has been family owned and operated for four generations, but it wasn’t until 2010 they decided to grow pumpkins. So far they have only planted the larger ones, with smaller ones making up 50 percent of their crop
“Dills Atlantic Giants, and we planted Gladiators and Cinderellas and Fairy tales. It’s called a Cannon ball. It weighs about 5-6 pounds.” Bentley Curry, Owner of Curry Farms said.
It takes up to 120 days for their pumpkins to mature given the right conditions. Farming pumpkins may seem like an easy process. However, there’s quite a few steps involved considering pumpkins are not native to the ArkLaMiss. Between disease, unwanted vegetation and southern climate, they have to rotate the maize and pumpkin fields, as well as reworking the fields and controlling plant borne disease.
“We’ve done what’s called burned down and we’ve done that three times in the field. We have to put out control agents to stop the mildews from killing our vines. We do a One-to One rotation and that is to help reduce disease and organisms in both crops. ” Curry said.
So far this year weather wise they’re off to a great start, as there has been enough time in between the rainy and dry weather. They’re hoping for steady rains, as well as temperatures lower than 100 degrees. They also have their own army of worker bees to keep their pumpkins pristine.
“We have bee hives on the farm that come and pollinate those pumpkins so we have nice round shapely pumpkins. You need the bees to do that or you’ll have irregular shaped.” Curry said.
The pumpkins won’t be completely grown out until the end of September into the beginning of October.