It may still be local summer, but the pumpkin frenzy is already in full swing with pumpkin-spiced everything from coffee and muffins to candles and hummus. New Jersey seems to have a pretty good crop this year.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher said the pumpkins are a-plenty this season, as they were last year. In 2018, he said, there were 11 million pounds of pumpkins in New Jersey, and the state is on target to reach that number again.

Fisher said we can thank Mother Nature for the abundance of pumpkins. July's rains have contributed to the plump, big pumpkin sizes this season. Plenty of pumpkins are available to choose from now at local pick-your-own farms around the state, but the beginning of October is peak pumpkin picking time.

He said people want to use them for decorations and have the activities that surround Halloween, such as pumpkin carving.

New Jersey's agritourism industry is responsible for contributing about $20 million to the state's economy, Fisher said. About $4 million of those dollars comes from the state's pumpkin crop at the local farm level.

Fisher has encouraged residents to enjoy a fun family day by visiting local farms and doing some pumpkin picking this fall.

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