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Central Illinois leads pumpkin harvest

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Princeville (WEEK) - While the lines for pumpkin spice are long, what about the fruit?

Whether it's canned, whole, or in a pie, a central Illinois farmer has had their hand in growing it, as 90% of the worlds pumpkins are from central Illinois.

"If you like pumpkin pie or have had pumpkin pie, you have likely had some that have come off of my farm," said owner and operator of Robert Wieland Farms, Robert Wieland.

Local farmer, Robert Wieland says October is the prime time for pumpkin harvest, as its when 80% of the pumpkin supply is available.

Despite the lack of rain, Wieland says there will be a decent harvest this year.

"It's average to below," said owner and operator of Robert Wieland Farms, Robert Wieland. "It will not be a record breaker at all the maximum will be average and below average because it just didn't get that rain."

Wieland says not only are they nutritious, they can be used in many different ways and every part of the pumpkin is edible including the skin, flowers, seeds and even the leaves and stem.

"I think if the world knew, especially the health conscious people, how healthy pumpkins are for you there would be a lot more sold than there is," said Wieland.

Despite the hard work of planning, planting, pesticides, Wieland says in the end its worth it when you see the final product.

"Its a miracle," said Wieland. "You see that plant come up and all the sudden there's a little pumpkin there, and that is where you get a return for all your hard work from the year."

Andie Bernhardt

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