Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Oct 8, 2011 06:02 PM

Fake Pumpkin Shortage

There has been much talk about the shortage of pumpkins, pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin pies this season (Canadian Thanksgiving). Is it just Toronto that has cornered the market on pumpkin products. Walmart had stacks of pumpkin pie filling (in 2 sizes of tines) masses of baked pumpkin pies . Sane thing in No Frills and Loblaws.

Has the pumpkin mafia been trying to squeeze the market?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "squeeze the market?"

    I think it was more like Hurricane Irene. Upstate NY lost 80% of the pumpkin crop due to flooding from that storm. I don't know how NY state's crop affects Toronto, or the canned pumpkin processors in the region, but we haven't seen much of any fresh pumpkins in markets here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Where in upstate do you mean? It's a broad category and varies depending where in the state you live. I know of people in the City who call anything north of Ossining as "Upstate." -lol

      The local (central NY) pumpkin market seems to be doing just fine. I've seen loads of squashes and pumpkins at the Farmers' Market and I bought 2 sugar pumpkins at the store just yesterday out of a huge pile of gourds: butternut, buttercup,acorn squash and sugar pumpkins. I saw some canned pumpkin puree in the store yesterday as well.

      Maybe it's a bit different farther east by Mass and downstate, but we're good with pumpkins here. I have heard about the crops in New England being decimated by Irene, but all the reports I've seen indicate that the NY state pumpkin crop is just fine, booming even.

      1. re: BabsW

        I was thinking of the area where Irene did the most damage, the Hudson Valley area. It was widely reported in the news, after the storm, that 80% of farms in NY state sustained crop damage, with 20-30% significant damage, with NJ and CT being affected as well. Perhaps where you are was not affected particularly. Canned pumpkin quantities in the market will probably not be affected either.

        The counties that suffered crop damage are Albany, Ulster, Orange, Sullivan, Greene, Schoharie, Dutchess and Delaware, to varying degrees. If you're in central NY state, then you most likely were out of range. Pumpkins weren't the only crops damaged, btw.

        We haven't seen many fresh pumpkins in markets or vegetable stands in my neighborhood; I'm sure there are some available in farmer's markets and high end markets in the city, with higher prices this year, but none in my neighborhood to date.

        Anything beyond NYC is upstate NY to me, as in no longer NYC.

    2. Pumpkin pie filling is different than canned pumpkin, which was in short supply last year and this year (in California) supposedly because of the weather- the weeks of unusual heat and then the flooding, tornadoes and the hurricanes.

      There are pumpkins for sale, but not as many as in previous years; there used to be pumpkin patches on many street corners and I've only seen one set up so far. The price of a baking pumpkin is at $3 on sale this week and about $5 as a regular price.

      1. This is the third year of what is becoming an annual event.

        There always seems to be plenty of breathless warnings before the holidays and canned pumpkin still on grocery shelves afterward.

        1. hurricane irene, tropical storm lee, and weeks of flooding in areas have indeed hurt the pumpkin crop. canned pumpkin may be from last year.

          1. In previous years the shortage in canned pumpkin was attributed to a poor crop in the Libby's fields. At the same time a much smaller producer of organic pumpkin in Oregon had no supply problems.

            3 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              Curiously, it wasn't so much a poor crop, as the fields being too muddy to get the trucks in to haul them out, and most simply rotted on the vines.

              As for a poor crop, consider the chinese farmers who started adding growth accelerators to their fertilizer mix and the watermelons are exploding in the fields. Kapow! There goes another one....

              1. re: Veggo

                Exactly - when I was driving to visit my parent's home through Illinois, I drove past fields and fields of pumpkins just rotting in muddy fields. Sad.

                1. re: Veggo

                  "watermelons are exploding in the fields"

                  Now that whole thing was just bizarre.