FLOYDADA, Texas — Pumpkin Capital USA has become a nickname for Lubbock’s neighbor to the north, Floydada, because of the wide variety of gourds they ship to all over. And this year, business is booming.
“We started shipping out pumpkins in August,” said Pumpkin grower, Tim Assiter of Assiter Punkin Ranch & Pumpkin Patch.
But the pumpkin crop did face some challenges the last two years. This season, it was a late hailstorm that caused trouble, but despite the set back the pumpkin are in high demand. So much so that growers say it’s been a challenge keeping up.
“My estimation is shipping pumpkins out of Floydada is 25 semi loads per day. That’s over 2000 pumpkins per semi load,” said Assiter. “The demand, the undersupply of trucks and how fast the customer wanted them has been the hardest thing. Just striving to get them out in this short period.
This high demand is good news for growers but also good news for the local economy.
The Floydada chamber of commerce said the popularity of pumpkins not only draws major distributors, like Pumpkin Pyle, to the area but visitors from out of town.
“We have roughly 140 employees that participate in the pumpkin harvest, and that brings in… You know, they are staying here, them coming out to eat, them filling up their vehicles, coming in and shopping in Floydada and then obviously the sales the actual pumpkins bring in,” said Manager of the Floydada Chamber of Commerce, Kortney Debock.
Debock and Asiter both said it’s the pandemic that’s the reason for this pumpkin boom.
“We’re hearing that just sales overall are better because last year there were very few festivals and those things people look forward to doing every fall. So, they turned their own homes into their own personal pumpkin patch,” said Debock.
And with festivals back in swing this year, Floydada’s namesake isn’t going anywhere.
“Pumpkin capital USA! Coincidence is not involved in this,” said Assiter.
Starting October 8 is the Floydada Punkin Days Festival. There is a barbecue cook-off Friday, October 8, but most of the festival events are Saturday, October 9. The festival kicks off around the town courthouse with all kinds of pumpkin-themed events for the whole family.