Rustburg, VA - It's still early, but some farmers have already started harvesting their pumpkins this year. For the first time they're finding out if the drought hit them as hard as it did other crops like corn.
Farmers say they are feeling pretty good. According to the Virginia Farm Bureau, the drought did have a negative effect on this year's pumpkin crop. Still, the Yoder's out in Rustburg are only seeing the positive.
2012 is a year of firsts for Yoders' Farm in Rustburg. Earlier this year they grew a pick-your-own strawberry patch for the first time.
"A lot of people came out and found us, and we felt like growing a pumpkin patch in the fall would help them not forget about us," said Delvin Yoder.
Yoder and his son Lowell planted an acre of pumpkins hoping for the best.
"When we saw them take off and start growing, we didn't spend a lot of time worrying about them. It seemed to work well," said Yoder.
Dry conditions and high heat can stunt a pumpkin's growth. But the Yoders kept their crop alive with a drip irrigation system, pumping in water from a nearby creek.
"It emits just a small drop of water at a time, and all that water is going right to the root," said Yoder.
Yoder says that too much moisture is actually a bad thing for pumpkins and can invite disease. For a couple of first-timers, their pumpkin crop made out pretty well.
"We are novices at this but from our limited experience, I think they look really nice," said Yoder.
"I'm sure there's always room for improvement and could have done better, but we'll try again next year," said Lowell Yoder.
Their main concern now is getting the people to come.
"We can grow lots of stuff, but if people don't come out and take them home then it's not doing us any good," said Delvin.
The Yoder's first-ever family farm day is October 20. You can come out and pick your own pumpkins and see them for yourself.