Protecting the Pumpkins

NORTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The cooler temperatures are getting folks in the mood for all things fall, especially pumpkins.

It was finally a fall-like scene at Roba Family Farms in North Abington Township. Pumpkin pickers swapped out the t-shirts and shorts for coats and hats.

"It did seem to come on fast," said Jeff Roba. "Just Wednesday, it was 80 degrees here. We were all running around in t-shirts and now we're in sweatshirts and jackets."

At Roba's, they pay extra close attention to the forecast. With a frost advisory in effect for Lackawanna County, the farmers here have to start taking precautions to protect their pumpkins.

To protect the crops from frost, the folks at Roba's tell us they have to cover the pumpkins with tarps. And in a place this size, it takes a lot of tarps.

"We'll cover the pumpkins right when we close at night and then in the morning we'll come back and take the tarps off, and what that does is it keeps the pumpkins from getting frosted. It protects the handles, keeps the pumpkins from rotting from the bottom."

The weather impacts both the crops and the crowds. Roba says the past few weeks have been too warm for people to get in the fall spirit.

"With this downswing now, we're thinking this weekend we're definitely going to be busy. It's October, people are starting to feel in the mood for Halloween," Roba said.

Penelope Harman and Peyton Gryboski certainly are ready. The pair were visiting Roba's from St. Jude School in Mountain Top. They already have their Halloween costumes decided.

"I'm going to be a witch!"

"Michael Meyers!"

Now they just need the perfect pumpkin and they'll be Halloween ready.

Roba Family Farms is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The farm is closed on Tuesdays.

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