Pumpkin shortage causing rise in prices

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CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Every fall, about 150 million Americans purchase pumpkins to decorate or carve with their families.

“These have pretty shapes don’t they,” Clare Houston said while picking out pumpkins. “Not sure I like the speckled part.”

After being isolated in her home for months, she said pumpkin hunting has been a much-needed relief.

“To actually go out on my deck and do something with pumpkins, it was just like medicine to my soul,” Houston said.

She said Simpson’s Pumpkins and Trees in South Charlotte has always been a preferred spot to shop.

“We got a tractor trailer load of pumpkins in this morning,” manager Owen Simpson said.

The family set up shop on Pineville-Matthews Road for nearly 40 years, driving in up to 10 trucks-loads per season.

But this year, the Ohio-grown gourds are a bit more expensive because of extreme rain, worker shortages and fuel prices.

Charlotte farmers said a wet spring and summer have cut their harvest in almost half.

“Not out the roof, but we had to add on a little bit this year,” Simpson said.

With October officially in the books, staff said this time next week will be the busiest.

“Within the next four weeks, we’ll have a bunch sold and in people’s home by Halloween,” Simpson’s employee Butch Baker said.

CBS 17 edited this copy for its web article.

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