Pumpkin shortage impacting pumpkin patches across the southeast


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF)– This year, Halloween is happening in the midst of a pumpkin shortage.

Joey Zeller goes to St. Bartholomew’s Church, and he organizes their annual pumpkin patch.

“It’s a lot of fun just working to figure out where we’re going to get the pumpkins from and talking to the farmers seeing how the year was,” Zeller said.

But there’s a pumpkin shortage, so figuring out how to get his hands on enough for a full patch is a tough job.

“The people that we used to use up in northern South Carolina actually had zero pumpkins a couple of years ago,” Zeller said. “The rain was so bad we were thinking and praying for those folks because their whole entire farm was done.”

Zeller says they try to support farms in South Carolina, but that’s where the drought and shortage hit so hard.

Pumpkin patches haven’t fully recovered from the drought, and now have less to choose from, and that makes shipments smaller.

“The pumpkins out west are fine, but they’re hard to get because when you have a shortage in one area then those pumpkins which would usually be easy to get are now going to someone else. A shortage in one part makes a shortage for everybody,” Zeller said.

Fortunately, the church was able to find a farm to supply their pumpkins this year. After cancelling last year because of the pandemic, this patch has been a major hit with the community.

“We hadn’t even unloaded the truck and people were buying pumpkins from us,” Zeller said.

Brisk business as the patch celebrates its 25th anniversary. The pumpkins range from $3-$12, and the patch is open 7 days a week.

“Oh my gosh, it is great being able to do this again this year,” Zeller said. “Driving up Martin Town Road, seeing the hill full of orange, it makes you feel good. It’s a community event more so than a church event.”

Because of the shortage, St. Bartholomew’s only got one shipment of pumpkins. They expect to sell out before Halloween, and maybe even as soon as this week.

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