If your fall traditions include pumpkin picking at Aloun Farms, you’ll likely have less to choose from this year.
The farm has reported a pumpkin shortage due to recent storms and frequent heavy rain. Production has dropped nearly 50 percent.
“Historically the Ewa plains receive an average total of 16 inches of rain per year. These are records dating back to early sugar cane days. However, since August 24th till now, we’ve already recorded 15 inches in a span of just three weeks. This occurred at a time most critical to pollination and crop development,” said Aloun Farms general manager Alec Sou.
Despite the decline, the farm expects the pumpkins to make a slight recovery toward mid to late October.
Regardless, Aloun Farms will hold its 15th Annual Pumpkin Festival, so visitors can enjoy harvesting activities, free hayrides, live entertainment, food vendors and family activities.
The farm says it will dedicate most of its pumpkin production toward this community event, which hosted a combined 60,000 visitors last year through education tours and festival weekends.
“It’s very important for us to educate our youth and the community about the importance of local diversified agriculture and that is a big part of our responsibility,” explained Michael Moefu of Aloun Farms.
Aloun Farms has been a key supplier of Hawaii’s locally grown Halloween pumpkins for the past 15 years.
Moefu says large retailers such as Safeway and Costco should be able to bring in enough pumpkins from the mainland to meet the demand this year.
The 15th Annual Pumpkin Festival takes place Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25 at Aloun Farms on Old Farrington Highway between Kapolei and Waipahu. Take Exit 3 North/South Rd. and follow the orange pumpkin flags.
The Pumpkin Festival will open its gates on “All American Day” Saturday, Oct. 10, with free admission to all military ID cardholders. Then, on UnitedHealthcare Day, Oct. 17, the first 200 visitors will receive free admission. On its final day, Oct. 25, Aloun Farms partners with Simply Halloween for its Halloween costume and pumpkin carving contest.Click here for more information.