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Healthy Pumpkin Crop Means Easier Carving

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Picking the perfect pumpkin is easier in Minnesota this year. Farmers say the wet spring and long, dry summer have made the pumpkins easier to carve.

For the Deyo family, picking a pumpkin at Tom’s Pumpkin Farm in Lindstrom, Minn., is an autumn tradition. And during the farm’s 35-year lifespan, thousands of families have come through.

And this year, the choices are plentiful.

“It was a very good crop this year,” said Thomas Rongitsch, of Tom’s Pumpkin Farm.

The field developed early, allowing the veggies time to expand.

“We had enough rain early on and then as we dried out the pumpkins had little or no disease and very hard shells,” Rongitsch said.

That means, once you’re ready to carve, there won’t be as much goo in the pumpkin. It also means Jack-o-Lanterns can take up longer residences on the front stoop.

“There’s a little less moisture in inside, so they tend to keep a little bit longer,” Rongitsch said.

You just have to make sure you pick up the right one. Pumpkin patches like Tom’s have up to 20 different varieties of pumpkin.

Tom’s Pumpkin Farm is open from 10 a.m. until dusk. Rongitsch says there’s plenty of big pumpkins still left because of this year’s good crop.

If you’re really adventurous, try the corn maze on the weekends until 11 p.m. At night, you have to use a flashlight or rely on the moon.

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