They’re the symbol of the season — plump pumpkins are selling by thehundreds of thousands statewide. Whether being bought for carvingjack-o-lanterns, as colorful decorations or for filling home-baked pies,pumpkins are a very popular crop. Iowa Department of Agriculturehorticulturist Steve Peterson says there are 208 pumpkin farms with morethan 700 acres of pumpkins in Iowa. He says most of the great orange gourdsbeing sold during this Halloween month are being grown in IowaPeterson says the pumpkin is an odd commodity — since they are ediblebut few people actually eat the ones they buy.Another Iowa-grown vegetable is popular at this time of year — and it’s notbeing eaten either. The hedgeapple is often set out near doorways, windowsand basements. The prickly green hedgeapple reportedly emits toxins thatrepel spiders and all sorts of bugs.
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