Floydada pumpkin growers persevere through rough season

‘Assiter Punkin Ranch’ in Floydada
Published: Oct. 6, 2023 at 5:33 PM CDT
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FLOYDADA, Texas (KCBD) - It’s been a tough season for South Plains farmers, including pumpkin farmers in Floydada. A farmer there wants everyone to know they’ve persevered and have plenty of pumpkins to choose from.

The owner of Assiter Punkin Ranch, Tim Assiter, said the extreme temperatures brought a rough growing season for farmers.

“Heat is not a pumpkins friend,” Assiter said. “Therefore, our yield is a little bit less, I think our pumpkins are a little bit smaller, but we still have a good quality pumpkin in Floydada.”

Then, from one extreme to another. It’s been raining while Assiter has been harvesting his pumpkins. He said with Floydada being touted as the Pumpkin Capital of the USA, they ship across the nation and are trying to get pumpkins to everyone’s doorsteps as soon as possible.

“We’re still shipping them as fast as we can, we just don’t have as many of what you want when you like it,” Assiter said.

The Assiter Punkin Ranch had another bump in the road as well. Assiter said they dealt with a trailer fire that caused them to lose some pumpkins.

“We had one trailer that the reefer unit caught on fire, and it burned up just one load of pumpkins,” Assiter said.

Despite the fire and rough growing season, Assiter said not to worry. He says there are still plenty of pumpkins for everyone’s fall needs.

“However, we still have pumpkins,” Assiter said. “We still think that people are going to be able to come to the pumpkin patch, enjoy the fall weather, enjoy the family tradition of coming and getting their pumpkins.”

One place you can see Floydada grown pumpkins on display is Floydada’s ‘Punkin Days’ next Saturday, Oct. 16.

The president of the Floydada Chamber of Commerce in Agriculture, Kalli Martin, said this annual celebration started in the 80s.

“It just started as a small community celebration of the end of pumpkin harvest because it’s such a big deal for our town and our local economy,” Martin said.

Now, it’s grown into so much more for the town.

“It brings in 10 to 15,000 people a year into our tiny little town of 3,000,” Assiter said.

With kid’s activities, a wine and beer garden and arts and crafts, Martin said it’s something anyone can enjoy; and everyone’s invited. The event will be Saturday, Oct. 14 in downtown Floydada around the square from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can find more information on the event here.