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Sunday, November 23, 2008 

If it's pumpkin time...

It's Half Moon Bay season....

Every autumn, thousands of Bay Area residents visit the coastside to pick pumpkins from the picturesque fields along Highways 1 and 92. More than 3,000 tons of pumpkins are grown each year by 15 or so commercial growers in the Half Moon Bay area. They ship pumpkins all over the United States and sell to many of the large retailers in the Bay Area. As always, this year there's a bumper crop.

The pumpkin boom can be traced back to growers in the area who began to plant pumpkins in the 1930's. In the early 30’s, teenager John Arata and his brother Clarence began planting pumpkin seeds to feed the family’s hogs. One day, they were hauling some of their pumpkins along Highway One back to the farm when a passing motorist stopped and asked if he could buy a few. The Arata’s sold the pumpkins for a quarter and a booming pumpkin-picking business and tourist attraction was born. - Half Moon Bay Pumpkin & Art Festival


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