SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Recent high temperatures are causing pumpkins to ripen early this year, prompting worries the crop may not last until Halloween.
At Bastaio Farms in Sacramento, fall family fun is an important business strategy, especially leading up to Halloween. For decades, thousands of families have taken train rides through spooky corn fields and walked through haunted houses.
But the scary parts aren’t limited to the haunted house this year. Summer heat is affecting this year’s pumpkin harvest.
“The early heat that we had brought the crop forward quite a bit,” said Dennis Bastaio.
Keeping the main attraction alive for the fall is a challenge for him, as some of his pumpkins are withering on the vine.
“Right now, as you can see, they’ve been orange for at least two weeks,” he said.
The pumpkins are popping up too early and getting hammered by the sun.
“With this heat, compounded heat, it’s just withered away,” he said. “It’s going to be soft if we don’t get it off the vine and into somebody’s hands.”
Some will be tossed out.
“It wouldn’t be too bad if we didn’t have all this heat we’ve been having the last couple of weeks,” he said.
But he insists there is nothing to be afraid of, and his staff is doing all it can to save Halloween by keeping acres of pumpkins alive.
The patch opens to the public on Oct. 1.