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MONDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with late night showers ending by daybreak. Low: 43. Winds: South 10-15 mph.
Family Pumpkin Farm Hits The Busy Season
DeWitt County farmer Randy Martin didn't expect his beans to do so well.
"Low to mid 50's", says Martin.
"That's pretty good?", we ask.
"For this year it is", answers Martin.
Things definitely could've been much worse.
"Oh, i was hoping for 35 to 40," says Martin. "So i'm pleasantly surprised."
Right now he's got another crop to worry about at home, where his family operates the Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm.
"My wife's uncle did it for several years," says Martin. "And he kind of retired, so we decided we'd keep the business going, we enjoy having people out to the farm and try to keep it the least commercialized so people can enjoy themselves when they come out here."
And there's a lot of variety in this patch, they've got everything from giant big mac pumpkins, which can easily weigh over 150 pounds, all the way down to the tiniest of little gourds.
"We've got a variety that's got a bigger stem on it that we like real well and we're going to plant more of them next year," says Martin. "We've got some buckskin that people really like real well, we've got about 50 varieties and we try new stuff all the time."
The 2012 crop doesn't seem to be looking too bad.
"Good, our pumpkin crop's probably one of the better crops we've had," says martin. "Probably a little rain when we needed it, we got a couple little showers in the middle of July that helped them out."
Raising pumpkins isn't quite like his other crops.
"A lot more labor intensified," says Martin. "Everything has to be hand picked and hand cut to make sure everything's got a stem on it."
Luckily he gets some help from his wife and his cousin Cindy.
"We pick every day it seems like, we try to keep the tables stocked up," says Cindy Dupont. "The boys are out on the weekends picking so we try to get them to get a wagon for us, to get us through the week."
There's one simple reason she ended up helping manage the store out here.
"'Cause I'm family," says Dupont.
This time of the year is when the pumpkins just keep selling.
"We have been pretty busy," says Dupont. "So I'd say we're in the heat of the season, and it'll go until the 31st."
Randy may be able to help out a little more before then, if he gets finished cutting beans.
"Oh we have the last couple of years," says Martin. "Seems like we get started earlier every year."
"Does it make it easier?" we ask.
"Yes it does," says Martin.