Pumpkins bloom on Kauai

ANAHOLA — Pumpkins for youth groups at Lihue Missionary Church took the route via Anahola on Friday as Steve Davis of Dow AgroSciences accompanied Peter Wiederoder to a Kauai Habitat for Humanity house blessing.

“These were grown on Kauai,” Wiederoder said. “We got some 90-day seed, but no one took into consideration the climate differences on Kauai.”

The weather snap, coupled with the Westside climate, pushed the pumpkins into production at 60 days instead of the scheduled 90 days.

“We had to harvest them,” Davis said. “They’re beautiful. We’ve got about a thousand of them stored in coolers until we distribute them primarily through the fall festival, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 24 through 26 in Waimea.”

Prior to planting the crop, Davis said they checked with the neighborhood markets and outlets to let them know they were planning to grow the pumpkins.

“This is the first time we’ve done something like this,” Davis said. “But it worked out well, and we’re excited about the fall festival, where the pumpkins will be available for people in time for Halloween.”

Kauai County Farm Bureau member Sandi Kato-Klutke said she still has pumpkins grown from Harry Yamamoto, who won one of the special awards from the recent farm fair.

Last year, Yamamoto produced several hundred pounds of pumpkins for distribution through the Esaki Farms wholesaler, the crop being diminished when unanticipated rains spoiled a portion of the crop.

“The pumpkins keep a long time,” Kato-Klutke said. “And, the best part is they’re grown here. Next year, I think the seed companies will try their hand at the real jack-o-lantern pumpkins.”

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