Farmers defend pumpkin practice

Oct. 9, 2005 at 11:50 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- After reports surfaced that some pumpkins at New York Pick-your-own farms might be placed in fields, farmers defended the practice.

Some pick-your-own pumpkin farmers said placing purchased pumpkins artfully in their fields near roads made it easier for consumers to pick their pumpkin. Others said those who do grow their own pumpkins cannot always keep up with demand, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

"There's a lot of guys who don't really raise pumpkins," said Jim Stakey, a Long Island farmer said. "But with 26 acres, sometimes people don't want to do all that walking, so sometimes we do bring them in and put them near the vines closer to the stand."

Stakey said that although this was a great year for pumpkins, in the past he has had to import his pumpkins from other states to meet demand.

"I tend not to think of (placing his imported pumpkins in his fields) as trickery, but as a way to serve the customers," he said.

If customers notice the pumpkin isn't connected to a vine, they don't mention it, according to Stakey.

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