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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Great Pumpkin Shortage of '06

REGION

charliebrown.jpg

(Waiting for the Great Pumpkin in a "Peanuts" Halloween special)

Those who were looking forward to carving pumpkins for Halloween, beware: crops this year were not so great for many local farmers.

Ray Mong's farm in Stow has shipped in pumpkins from Vermont, because the crop got washed out by heavy rains this spring, CBS News reports.

Since farmers have had to ship in pumpkins from as far away as Canada, customers will bear the brunt of the cost, and the average cost of a big pumpkin has gone up by about $2.

Some folks are skeptical about the pumpkin panic. Silvio Laccetti, a professor of social sciences at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, recently wrote a piece on how his experiences have contradicted the supposed shortage.

Laccetti looked at the pumpkin shortage stories popping up all over the country, tracing them back to a Sept. 15 story in the Globe. (Westword also posted a blog item on the topic on Sept. 22.)

Laccetti says in his McClatchy-Tribune column, "The great pumpkin shortage stories had more holes in them than your ghost costume, Charlie Brown."

-- Erica Tochin

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