Grown Here at Home: Pumpkins are a big money-maker for Southwest Virginia

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MONTGOMERY CO.,Va. (WDBJ7) Pumpkin season is in full swing. They're such a big deal around these parts that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed October Pumpkin Month.

The high elevations and cool temperatures make Southwest Virginia the perfect place for growing pumpkins, and at Sinkland Farms they have thousands!

“Typically an acre of pumpkins will yield in a good season about 15-hundred pumpkins,” explained Susan Sink, owner of Sinkland Farms.

In fact, believe it or not, pumpkins are quite the money-maker.

According to a survey last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Commonwealth has over 2,000 acres of wholesale pumpkins valued at more than $11 million.

Being the lucrative crop that it is, you can see why having a good growing season is important. However, this year was a little tough.

“Pumpkins take one inch of water a week to thrive and reach their ultimate size. We haven't had that here in the New River Valley or the Roanoke Valley. But thank goodness we have irrigation here at Sinkland Farms so that's why you see these large pumpkins today,” Sink said.

And they're attracting people from all over to check them out.

“We estimate over the last few years we've had close to 30-thousand people visit Sinkland Farms. We have families visiting from Princeton and Bluefield, West Virginia, to Franklin County, to beyond Wytheville, down deep Southwest Virginia and up 81 as far as Waynesboro. Charlotte, North Carolina sends a lot of families our way, too. So we're anxious to see every year what the license plates say, what states they're coming from,” said Sink.

And if you end up taking a drive out to the farm yourself, hopefully you'll find the perfect pumpkin you've been looking for.