A farm near Broome is busy picking its biggest crop of jack-o’-lantern pumpkins in time for Halloween.
What started as a trial seven years ago at the farm in Western Australia’s far north has turned into a lucrative crop for farmer Rusty Dredge.
“Halloween is a growing trend in Australia. It’s now the third-most-celebrated event after Christmas and Easter,” he said.
“There’s compounding growth [for Halloween pumpkins], meaning we’ve gone from about 1,500 pumpkins to this year growing around 15,000 Halloween pumpkins.”
Mr Dredge said the Halloween pumpkins were mostly for carving, so getting the size and colour right was important. He said the timing of the crop was also vital. “There’s a window we have to plant in, otherwise we’ll miss [the Halloween date of October 31].”
Mr Dredge is wrapping up his harvest this week and said he was on track to pick about 15,000 Halloween pumpkins this season. Most of the fruit will end up on supermarket shelves around Western Australia, with some pumpkins also going to South Australia this year.
Halloween pumpkins from Broome will also be exported for the first time.
“We’re going to export the little jack pumpkins to Singapore … I’ve got about half a dozen pallets,” Mr Dredge said.
“They’ll go out of Perth airport, it’s the first time we’ve exported, so that’s exciting.”