Remember The Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2009?

Just as fall baking season kicked into gear, shoppers found supermarket shelves devoid of canned pumpkin. A disastrous crop year in the Midwest, the country's prime pumpkin-growing region, spelled doom for many a Thanksgiving pie-baker that year.

And this year, you may think we're in for more of the same.

But we're not.

While the Northeast has had a very tough pumpkin year (due to a wet spring, an outbreak of fungus, and flooding from Hurricane Irene), the rest of the country is doing OK, thanks very much.

Libby's, the chief supplier of canned pumpkin to America's bakers, had this to say in an August press release:

"While much of the country has been suffering from unusually high temperatures this summer, the weather seems to be perfect for growing pumpkin! That's right, thanks to Mother Nature and the hard work of the dedicated pumpkin farmers in Morton, Illinois – the pumpkin capital of the world! - Libby's Pumpkin is happy to report that consumers will be able to find a bountiful supply of their beloved pumpkin on grocer's shelves in plenty of time for the 2011 holiday season."

So, it may be difficult to find your favorite brand of canned pumpkin at the moment.

Especially in the Northeast, where local manufacturers – e.g., One-Pie – may be having trouble with their supply.

But hold tight; the new crop should be hitting your supermarket shortly.

Just in time for Harvest Pumpkin Scones, my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe!

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PJ Hamel
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About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!