Gourd News: Iowa pumpkin crop survives - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gourd News: Iowa pumpkin crop survives

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David Myers has been farming pumpkins for long than he would care to admit.

As a result, he knows them pretty well.

"All the minis, all the gourds all the smallies,” he listed off.

Myers owns Heartland Farms near Waterloo. Through the years, he’s learned a thing or two about growing great gourds. For Heartland, October marks the symbol of Fall – think pumpkin pie and jack-o-lanterns.

But this Fall mainstay is surprisingly sensitive.

"Well...they're a fickle plant,” Myers said. “A lot of hybrids now are selected for shape, color, and size. They don't necessarily select them for a tough plant that grows easily."

All Summer, we’ve heard from farmers about bad growing weather hurting their crops. But what about the noble gourd? The great pumpkin? Will this fruit of the vine turn out fine?

Turns out, yes.

"Summer was fairly helpful,” Myers said. “We had a decent Summer, so I've got a better-than-average quality crop. Top quality, I'd say, yield is average, maybe a little above."

Area grocers aren’t worried either – the Store Director of a Waterloo HyVee said that despite the rough summer, they’re not having an issue finding pumpkins.

That means Myers will have some extra ammo for his Punkinator cannon.

So even though the Iowa corn harvest is behind schedule, the chances of finding the perfect pumpkin don’t have to be squashed.

Heartland Farms opens to the public Tuesday, October 1.

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