Locals raise great pumpkins for fall festivities

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  • (Courtesy photo) John Paul Driver, his wife Rachel Driver, and their dog Stetson pose with a truckload of carving pumpkins they raised at DD Farms this fall.

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    (Courtesy photo) John Paul Driver and his dog Stetson show off DD Farms carving pumpkins.

  • (Courtesy photo) John Paul Driver, his wife Rachel Driver, and their dog Stetson pose with a truckload of carving pumpkins they raised at DD Farms this fall.

  • 1

    (Courtesy photo) John Paul Driver and his dog Stetson show off DD Farms carving pumpkins.

USK — It’s pumpkin time, and Jon Paul Driver’s crew at DD Farms here has quite the pumpkin patch. You can find your own great pumpkin at Selkirk Ace Hardware in Oldtown for $4.99 each. Driver grows the heirloom varieties known as Connecticut Fields and Jack-o-Lantern using no herbicides or fungicides, and aims to raise them to weigh around 10 lbs. each. The farm has its own honeybees that produce honey and pollinate the pumpkins. Each DD Farms pumpkin is hand-picked and offers great carving possibilities, he said.

“Everybody has their own idea of what the perfect pumpkin looks like,” said the fourth-generation farmer.

About one dozen family and friends have helped care for and harvest the seasonal produce since DD Farms began growing them in 2015. Their one acre of pumpkins yields a remarkable 1,500-2,000 pumpkins, he explained. It’s a lot of fun and it fills in the downtime on the farm in September, Driver said.

Typically, DD Farms raises alfalfa, grass hay, and different cereal grains on about 350 acres. Deer have been a bit of a challenge and they devastated the 2016 pumpkins crop, said Driver, but overall pumpkins have been a fun, festive way to diversify and keep things rolling in the fall season.

“Everyone wants to be involved with pumpkins,” he said. “Professional pumpkin picker sounds like a pretty good job to me,” he added with a laugh.

To learn more about DD Farms, call 509-671-2804 during regular business hours or go to facebook.com/driverdairyfarms online. To buy a DD Farms pumpkin, go to Selkirk Ace Hardware at 495 E. Highway 2 in Oldtown between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

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