Missoula Farmer Finds Joy Growing Pumpkins for the Pov
A Missoula farmer who sees more than 2000 pumpkins through from seed to store says he gets great satisfaction knowing his crop is helping to help feed people, especially those who are struggling with hunger every day.
It's a partnership that turns the golden gourds into cash when you buy one of the organically-grown pumpkins during the "Pumpkins for the Pov" fundraising campaign.
Once more this year, farmer Eric Gibson-Snyder is helping the Poverello Center staff and volunteers collect the pumpkins from his field near the Wye, where they are taken to a Blackfoot Communications warehouse for temporary storage. Then, the pumpkins find their way to local grocery stores where they are sold through the end of October.
"It's pretty great, yeah. The best thing about it I really enjoy is how supportive the community is," Gibson-Snyder told me from atop his tractor between loads. "Every time I deliver a pumpkin or someone hears about it, they just get really excited, really happy, and it's just really gratifying."
The pumpkins raise thousands of dollars which will help the Poverello Center not only feed people at the shelter on West Broadway but at a number of assistance programs throughout the community.
And not all the pumpkins are orange.
Gibson-Snyder includes many additional colors in his crop.
"We do. We have a bunch of different kinds that are fun. Those white ones and blue ones, and of course orange ones and orange ones with all kinds of works on them. And yeah, there's a pumpkin for everybody."
I asked how he decides what to plant each spring when there are so many options.
"We try out new things every year for sure. And everyone likes an orange pumpkin," he admits. "But there's a lot of fun stuff out there now, and so we just kind of pull some stuff off the shelf and see what works."
Pumpkins are on sale now at these locations:
-The Good Food Store at 1600 S 3rd St W
-Rattlesnake Market at 2501 Rattlesnake Dr.
-YMCA Missoula at 3000 S Russell St
-Imagine Nation Brewery at 1151 W Broadway St
-The Trough at 2106 Clements Rd
-Parkside Credit Union Locations: 320 W Broadway St, 4055 Brooks St, and 2300 Great Northern Ave.