The pumpkin harvest is underway at a local farm after some snowy weather brought an end to an already strange growing season.
 
Farmer Tam Andersen, owner of Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm, started harvesting her 10 acres of pumpkin plants—about 300,000 to 400,000 pounds of pumpkin—before the snow started falling on Wednesday (Sept.12).
 
Andersen said last week that between the dry summer, August wildfire smoke and recent overnight frost it’s been a wacky year for pumpkin farming. She was hoping for a couple weeks of nice weather to give the pumpkin patch time to catch up.
 
Instead she woke up Thursday morning to a crop sitting under about two inches of snow. Andersen and her crew are continuing the work of bringing all the pumpkins safely indoors. She has “bins and bins” of blue Australian pumpkins—the “best eating pumpkin ever”--already picked.
 
“They have a flesh that's about two inches thick and it’s sweet and it's a lot like eating a sweet potato."
 
For now the Halloween pumpkins are keeping warm under their blanket of snow.
 
“Two inches of snow can do so much good out in the field and just act like a layer of insulation,” Andersen said. “So we're hoping that's what keeps our pumpkins safe overnight.”
 
A soaking rainfall combined with freezing nighttime temperatures would have been worse, Andersen added.
 
The still-green Halloween pumpkins will be brought indoors into greenhouses to finish maturing in balmy temperatures.
 
“The skins will turn orange fairly quickly. And they'll be really nice and hard,” Andersen said.
 
Pumpkins with properly cured rinds can last for months.
 
“We've even had pumpkins last a full year once we've done this process."
 
The farm’s intricate corn mazes stood up well to the snowfall and will be open to visitors as planned.

More Local News

Fort Saskatchewan woman dies while helping injured driver

A Fort Saskatchewan resident has died after trying to help a stranded driver.

City commits millions to future home of Fort Gymnastics Club

Council made a unanimous decision on Tuesday (Nov.13) to purchase land that included a building for the Fort Gymnastics Club.

Unnatural fibres making homes more flammable

The professionals are saying newer homes are more flammable.

Local speakers encourage students to break mental health stigmas

Last month, students at Vegreville Composite High hosted the Elk Island Public School’s first Headstrong Summit, a day-long mental health awareness initiative.

Morinville celebrates 2018 Annual Business Award winners

It was a night of celebrating at the 2018 Annual Business Awards Gala in Morinville.

Cleaning and restoration underway in county hall and parkade

After explosions last week, over 100 vehicles are being removed from the Strathcona County Community Centre's parkade.

Fort Sask's proposed 2019 budget

Budget 2019 now has a price tag in Fort Sask.

Rosella Bjornson given prestigous award as first female commercial airline pilot

Sherwood Park's Rosella Bjornson recently received the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Strathcona County still working to remove vehicles from Community Centre parkade

More specifics are out regarding vehicles trapped in the Strathcona County Community Centre's parkade.

Sturgeon County welcomes new CAO

On Nov.5, Reegan McCullough became the official Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Sturgeon County.

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login