RGV farmers struggle with pumpkin harvest

Local News

SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Fall is officially here and pumpkins are stocked up in grocery stores, but this season was difficult for farmers in the Rio Grande Valley.

The co-owner of Garcia Farms in San Benito, Melba Hernandez, said she was looking forward to hosting a pumpkin patch with their own grown pumpkins but had to make some changes to her initial plans.

“When we started seeing the spike in temperature, they were going to the hundreds, they were embarking on that temperature a lot, and then we would get rain, by the time it was 2 p.m. it was so hot our plants were already wilting, so this season we had to scrap the plans, let our dirt rest, and see if we could get them somewhere else,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said her first thoughts were to contact local farmers to purchase pumpkins but learned that other farmers were not successful at growing this season either.

“We like to keep it within the farms that we have here locally, but since we contacted everybody, they all said, we didn’t grow pumpkins, we didn’t grow this season, so now we have to outsource it completely from here,” said Hernandez. 

She explained the weather is just one of the issues that prevent growth.

“It’s really hard in Texas, only because the soil has to be a certain kind, we have to make sure the bugs don’t hit us as well and since we don’t really add any chemicals or herbicides or anything like that, it’s hard to keep them away,” said Hernandez.

She explained that last year was a better season, but still dealt with some issues. However, she was able to put together her pumpkin patch for everyone to enjoy.

Hernandez said the farm and pumpkin patch are a source of income, but despite the issues this season, she will keep positive and outsource pumpkins to move forward with a pumpkin patch next month.

She said the pumpkin patch is scheduled for Oct. 16. at 3 p.m.

For more information visit Garcia Farms and their pumpkin patch.

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