A great pumpkin season at Linton’s

Valerie Linton watches over the family market in north Oshawa. Photo credit: Michael S. Patrick

Pumpkin sales got a boost this year, said Valerie Linton of Linton’s Farm Market.

Linton said while they grew the same amount of pumpkins this year as they have in previous, they won’t know how much sales increased until sometime in December when they put the final numbers together.

She said the increase is due, in part, to decorators getting an early start on the season.

Linton said pumpkins sales traditionally don’t start until September, but this year they started in August.

Linton's Farm Market in Oshawa sells all the produce it grows on the farm at its own outdoor market.
Linton's Farm Market in Oshawa sells all the produce it grows on the farm at its own outdoor market. Photo credit: Michael S. Patrick

“People were tired of the summer, and wanted to speed up the season,” said Linton.

The market at 571 Raglan Rd. E. in north Oshawa carries a variety of pumpkins, from classic orange and white to a number of other rarely heard of pumpkins, including Red Witches, Black Cats, Peanut pumpkins, and some they just don’t know what to call.

Prices range from 75 cents for ornamental gourds to a $12 pumpkin.

You'll find a variety of pumpkin shapes colour and sizes at Linton's Farm Market in Oshawa.
You'll find a variety of pumpkin shapes, colours and sizes at Linton's Farm Market in Oshawa. Photo credit: Michael S. Patrick

Linton said this has been a “good year,” for the market, but it has still been mentally stressful. She said the possibility of Halloween being cancelled wasn’t one of her worries.

“This whole year has been like a different year; it’s been very busy,” she said.

“With the food insecurity issue, people have gravitated to where they can get food local,” said Linton. She said people want to know where their food is coming from.

Although her husband’s parents purchased the farm 70 years ago, it’s only been 20 years since they built the farm’s outdoor market. Linton’s husband used to go to farmers’ markets every weekend with his parents, she said he never wanted to do that again.

Linton said they’ve had a good year, but that’s because they have their own market. She said people who relied solely on farmers’ markets to sell their products may have had a tougher time this year.

“They were setting up online farms, and things at the end of the driveway to sell what they had,” said Linton.

Linton’s Farm Market closes for the season Oct. 31, and leftovers will go to nearby farms as animal feed. The farm is also supplying the town of Ajax with a number of pumpkins to give away.

“We’ll never run out of pumpkins,” said Linton.

The farm usually has a playground for the children to visit, but this year they haven’t opened it. Linton said they would need at least six people to clean the area after each use because of COVID-19 restrictions. She said it’s just too much.

Nalini Shaw holds on to her butter tarts while her daughter Nikita Kissoondath, waits for her two children Samara four, and Saige three to get tired of the farm's pet pigs.
Nalini Shaw holds on to her butter tarts while her daughter Nikita Kissoondath, waits for her two children Samara and Saige, to look at the farm's pet pigs. Photo credit: Michael S. Patrick

Nalini Shaw of Oshawa stopped by the farm with her daughter Nikita Kissoondath, and her two children – four-year-old Samara and three-year-old Saige Oct. 17. This wasn’t the family’s first trip to the farm, but it was the first time they were there to pick pumpkins.

“We always come strawberry picking,” said Kissoondath.

The family doesn’t plan to go out trick-or-treating this year, but like many others, they still intend to decorate for the season. The family took home four pumpkins and a package of butter tarts.

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