Pumpkin aplenty

KAPAA — If you want a pumpkin, Kauai has them. Grows them, even. Plenty, too, despite the whacky weather.

“People didn’t know we could grow pumpkins,” said Earl Kashiwagi, owner and operator of Esaki’s Produce. He delivered 4,500 pounds of pumpkins to the Kauai Fall Festival on Sunday and still has more.

Harry Yamamoto, a Kapahi resident, grew a crop of pumpkins this year. The seed companies, including Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta Seeds, also joined the lineup of those growing pumpkins for Halloween.

“We had people growing, everywhere,” Kashiwagi said, after learning of the seed companies’ intent. “But the weather came into play.”

It was hot. Then it rained.

“Pumpkins were exploding in the field,” Kashiwagi said. “Harry lost 75 percent of his crop in the field, and salvaged the rest of the crop by bringing it to us. But with all the water the pumpkins absorbed from the rain, we lost a lot of what came here.”

But there’s still no pumpkin shortage on Kauai.

“Everybody can get a pumpkin for Halloween at either very reasonable prices, or at one of the free events,” Kashiwagi said.

Peter Wiederoder, Kauai site leader for Dow, said they got some 90-day pumpkins to plant, but no one accounted for the Westside heat, which forced the pumpkins to mature in a little more than 60 days.

“We had to harvest early, and store them for Halloween,” he said. “We had about a thousand pumpkins in storage.”

Despite the challenges, both natural and manmade, Kashiwagi said the wholesale produce business is fun.

“We took a hit for Halloween,” Kashiwagi said. “But this is just some first-year challenges. People should be glad to know we can grow pumpkins here in Hawaii, and on Kauai. It’s all for the kids.”

Pumpkin aplenty – Thegardenisland.com: Local

Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA | West Hawaii Today

The 23rd annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s upper campus, sponsored by the school’s Ohana Association and Dr. Joan Greco, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

This year, the family festival in Waimea will feature a pumpkin patch with locally grown pumpkins and a new $20 wristband for keiki.

The wristband covers the climbing wall, horseback rides, laser tag, The Zoo Choo Train, inflatable bouncer and a new 28-foot high double lane slip and slide. This year’s musical lineup includes the Honokaa High School Jazz Band, Ms. B and The Boys, Mikiala Yardley and her trio. Food booths will be plentiful, offering hamburgers, hot dogs, and island favorites, such as lau lau, GJ Huli Chicken and foods with an Asian flair.

Again this year, the festival will host several nonprofit organizations.

The pumpkin patch is now a zero-waste event coordinated by Noah Dodd, HPA lower school garden coordinator and Sam Robinson. Both will be available to offer their expertise to make it an educational day.

For more information, contact Pamela Heitz at pamelaheitz@sbcglobal.net or 405-740-4937.

Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA | West Hawaii Today

Pick Your Own Hawai‘i-Grown Pumpkin at Aloun Farms

honolulu

Ahh, October—time for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin mochi and Hawai‘i-grown pumpkins. Aloun Farms, which celebrates its 10th year of educational tours this year, hosts an average of 15,000 students at its annual pumpkin patch. Event coordinator Michael Moefu says the student tours run Tuesdays through Fridays. “They learn a little bit more about agriculture, not just pumpkins,” he says. “Corn, sunflowers, beans and over a dozen different varieties of pumpkins.”

This is also the 14th annual Pumpkin Festival at Aloun in Kapolei, which is open to the public the last three weekends of October from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 91-1440 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, 677-9516, alounfarms.com.

Pick Your Own Hawai‘i-Grown Pumpkin at Aloun Farms – Honolulu Magazine – October 2014 – Hawaii

Kohala Pumpkin Patch event expands despite shortage

It’s been one tough year to raise pumpkins on Kohala Mountain.

The crop has been hit with the triple whammy of a mouse plague, cut worms and a tropical storm that stressed the plants so much they dropped their flowers.

None of this has deterred the Kohala Mountain Farm Pumpkin Patch from opening for its eighth year of Halloween pumpkins, food, rides and other attractions. While visitors to the farm — which commenced a fun-filled month Saturday — may see fewer pumpkins than in previous years, they’ll find expanded offerings in other areas.

“All we could do was laugh and carry on,” farm manager Benjie Kent said.

Visitors can hop on a wagon for a tour of the fields. The ride, pulled by draft horses and offered by Naalapa Stables, is new this year. The petting zoo has been expanded and there is a new miniature pony cart ride and cake walk. Musical offerings have been expanded as well, with the Pau Hana Pickers set to play several days and Beyond Paradise out of Hilo set to play Nov. 18.

Families can have their photos snapped by a sign painted with height markers. If they come back each year, they can take photos showing how their child is growing. And there are plenty of opportunities for snapping the obligatory shots of kids in wheelbarrows with pumpkins.

The farm recently added an observation platform made with lumber donated by HPM Buiding Supply. The platform gives a good view down the coast and into the corn maze so observers can help their friends find their way out — or confuse them further.

Central to this year’s story at the 23-acre educational farm on Kohala Mountain Road, however, is the shortage of fruit suitable to be carved into jack-o-lanterns.

Amira’s Prolific Pumpkins

Although not certified organic, Olana Farm grows produce on 2.25-acres using strictly organic methods.

What’s growing now

Arugula, avocado, basil (Thai, Italian, lemon), bak choy, beets, carrots, celery, chard (Swiss, rainbow), chives, cilantro, collards, fennel, green onions, ginger, guava, kale (curly, lacinato, red Russian, red curly), kaffir (leaves, fruit), mint, mustard greens (red, green), oregano, pak choi, papaya (green sunrise), pak choi (baby green, baby purple), parsley (Italian, curly), passionfruit, pea shoots, pineapple (white), pumpkin, rosemary, tangelo, thyme, tomatoes (cherry red, yellow pear), turmeric, turnips (white, red), yacón.

Amira Pumpkin 

“This variety was selected from seeds that were saved because they are adapted to Hawaii and resist powdery mildew and being stung by the fruit fly,” says Tom O’Connor. “We liken it to a tender butternut squash, but it has thin skin and sweet, tender flesh. We named it after my wife, Amira.”

Amira pumpkins have a deep gold, creamy interior that’s sweet and full of seeds, which can be planted in home gardens. You don’t need to peel them because the skin is smooth and tender enough to eat.

Pumpkins are a prolific crop and a medium sized one can make up to eight meals. They are considered a winter squash because they are harvested in late summer and early fall, and keep throughout the winter.

Season

Amira pumpkins take up to three months to go from seed to table. On Kauai, they are available from spring through summer and possibly into fall.

What to look for

Select pumpkins that are hard, heavy and free of soft spots. External skin blemishes do not compromise the integrity of the flesh. Stems should be attached, otherwise bacteria gets inside and spoils the flesh.

Storage

Store on a counter out of direct sunlight. O’Connor says pumpkins stored this way will keep for a few weeks.

Tip

Seeds make an excellent snack food. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and spread the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Lightly roast at 160 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Roasting for a relatively short time at a low temperature minimizes damage to healthy oils. 

Preparation

Purchasing pumpkins may seem expensive, but they are worth every penny. I used my pumpkin in four meals: the pilaf below, a kale and caramelized onion tart, ravioli (made with wonton wrappers) and a Thai coconut soup.

Northeast farmers warn of Halloween pumpkin shortage after rains from Irene devastate crops

NEW YORK — Northeastern states are facing a jack-o’-lantern shortage this Halloween after Hurricane Irene destroyed hundreds of pumpkin patches across the region, farmers say.

Wholesale prices have doubled in some places as farmers nurse their surviving pumpkin plants toward a late harvest. Some farmers are trying to buy pumpkins from other regions to cover orders.

Many area farms have fared well through the wet weather while some Northeastern states face a pumpkin shortage.

“I think there’s going to be an extreme shortage of pumpkins this year,” said Darcy Pray, owner of Pray’s Family Farms in Keeseville, in upstate New York. “I’ve tried buying from people down in the Pennsylvania area, I’ve tried locally here and I’ve tried reaching across the border to some farmers over in the Quebec area. There’s just none around.”

Hurricane Irene raked the Northeast in late August, bringing torrents of rain that overflowed rivers and flooded fields along the East Coast and into southern Canada. Pray saw his entire crop, about 15,000 to 20,000 pumpkins, washed into Lake Champlain.

But pumpkin farmers had been having a difficult year even before the storm. Heavy rains this spring meant many farms had to postpone planting for two or three weeks, setting back the fall harvest, said Jim Murray, owner of the Applejacks Orchard in Peru, N.Y.

A late harvest can be fatal to business because pumpkin sales plummet after Halloween on Oct. 31. Wholesalers need to get pumpkins on their way to stores by mid-September.

Another spate of rain about two weeks before Irene caused outbreaks of the phytophthora fungus —a type of water mold — in many fields, said Jim Stakey, owner of Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue, on New York’s Long Island.

Lahaina Gateway to host ‘Pineapples and Pumpkins’ Celebration

LAHAINA — Visit Lahaina Gateway for its “Pineapples and Pumpkins” celebration during Halloween weekend.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., join Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company for free Maui Gold pineapple samples, demonstrations, pineapple recipes, pumpkin treats, special sales at participating stores and entertainment.

Michael Kollwitz, with his Solo 12-string Chapman Stick, will perform jazz and blues with a Hawaiian flair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Enter to win fresh pineapples and prizes during the event at the seating area by Foodland Farms.

From 4 to 7 p.m., keiki 12 and under can go trick-or-treating at stores and restaurants throughout the center.

Also for children 12 and under, the Keiki Costume Contest begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Hula Girl Fountain. There will be ten total prizes for the best pineapple and best pumpkin-themed costume, plus most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume (under two years old).

King Kamehameha III Elementary School’s keiki fall decoration winning entries will be on display again this year. Instead of donating pumpkins this year, Lahaina Gateway brought them cases of freshly harvested Maui Gold pineapples from Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company.

These creatively decorated Halloween pineapples will be on display at the stores for everyone to enjoy beginning Oct. 30.

Bring the family and enjoy great shopping and dining at Lahaina Gateway. For information, call Patti Link at 661-3311.

Lahaina
Gateway to host ‘Pineapples and Pumpkins’ Celebration – LahainaNews.com
| News, Information, Lahaina and Western Maui, Hawaii — Lahaina News

Fun, fright to be had on Maui during Halloween

A CELEBRATION OF PINE AND PUMPKINES IN LAHAINA

Lahaina Gateway is presenting its “Pineapples and Pumpkins,” a celebration of Halloween, Haliimaile Pineapple Co. and more on Saturday. Free pineapple samples, demos, recipes, treats and store sales will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with entertainment provided by Chapman Stick musician Michael Kollwitz from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then, stores and restaurants will participate in keiki trick-or-treating from 4 to 7 p.m., with a keiki costume contest at 5:30 p.m. that will award best pineapple theme, best pumpkin theme, most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume. Trick-or-treating is for ages 12 and younger. For details, call 661-3311

Fun, fright to be had on Maui during Halloween – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

Pick of the patch

St. Anthony School kindergartner Kulia Kaufman, 5, browses through the selection of pumpkins while visiting the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Pumpkin Patch on Monday. St. Anthony preschool, kindergarten and 3rd-grade pupils visited and each child was able to take home a pumpkin. The keiki had a chance to hear stories and learn about pumpkins. Members of the public will also have a chance to choose among seven pumpkin varieties during a harvest event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Visitors then can also take part in craft sales, face painting and dental hygiene demonstrations, and savor a sample of soup.

Pick of the patch – Mauinews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News