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Robinson pumpkin patch keeping fields stocked during ongoing shortages

Posted at 7:12 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 20:12:44-04

CENTRAL TEXAS — It's a tradition that goes back generations: strolling through a pumpkin patch looking for the perfect pumpkin to take home.

Kids and adults of all ages have been frequenting the patches that dot Central Texas. Brenda Perry has been assisting the Point of Truth Church Pumpkin Patch in Robinson for several years, helping to create lasting family memories.

"What's cool now is that we have families that come in," said Perry. "They're all separate places and they meet here and say 'This is tradition, this is what we do as a family."

But what would autumn look like if pumpkins were hard to come by? That's the reality for some fields in Texas, as supply chains have become stressed. The breakdown of trucking has caused some pumpkin patches to go without a full stock, but not for Point of Truth Church. According to Pastor David Tenberg, they avoided trouble by planning ahead.

"We learned from last year. We found out in the pumpkin shortage that we experienced last year, we said we'd better be on our hands and feet this time. And we made some phone calls to some, our farmers," said Tenberg.

Tenberg gets his pumpkins from the Lubbock area, which is one of the biggest pumpkin contributors in the state. Getting in his orders early set the patch up for a successful season, but Tenberg says he's aware of farmers having difficulty getting their pumpkins out to people.

"And I know just getting our orders completed have been a challenge for them because of the pumpkins themselves," said Tenberg.

A lack of trucking has primarily been the cause of pumpkin shortages in Texas, and a whole host of other items for that matter. Fungus growth also played a part in some crop loss due to the wet summer, but the Panhandle was largely able to avoid those issues through diligent spraying.

After guiding children through the church's hay maze during a school field trip, Tenberg reflected on why pumpkins are such a cornerstone of autumn festivities.

"I think the pumpkin's really just is a prop for people to do family together," Tenberg said. "Whether it be carving or eating the pumpkin seeds or really just coming out to experience the patch."

Tenberg and Perry say that it was important for them to make sure their pumpkin patch had enough to go around; not as a means to make money but to give people the opportunity to enjoy time as a family.

Many Central Texas pumpkin patches will be open through Halloween, but supply chain issues may not be resolved before then. Still, there is plenty of time for you to find what you're looking for. If a pumpkin patch near you is looking thin, it may be worth a short drive to other local patches. You can find a list of where to go this season on our website.