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About 80 percent of the United States' pumpkin supply is available in October, but pumpkin makes an appearance year-round in pies, breads and other foods. Weather can have a big impact on the yearly pumpkin harvest.
Viewer Tip: Despite a rough year for pumpkin patches, many farmers are meeting demand by bring in pumpkins from other areas. If you are carving or cooking this year, put the whole pumpkin to use! If you don't eat the seeds yourself, spread them outside as a snack for birds and squirrels. And, instead of weighing down your trash bags and sending past-their-prime pumpkins to the landfill, put them to use in your garden. Pumpkins can be added to compost piles, where they will decompose and add nutrients to your compost.
Check out Earth Gauge for more weather and environmental tips!
(Sources: University of Illinois Extension, “Pumpkins and More: Pumpkin Facts”; The National Center for Appropriate Technology, “Organic Pumpkin and Winter Squash Production”; USA Today, “Northeast Farmers Warn of Irene Pumpkin Shortage”; Houston Chronicle, “Drought takes bite out of Texas pumpkin harvest”; Portland Tribune, “Pining for the Pumpkin Patch”)