"The garden centres want a 30lb (14kg) fruit with no defects and a handle to carry it with," he said. "They will buy a (pallet-sized) bin for $125 and sell it for three times that. A large one will sell for $30."
Growers expect to yield 80-100 bins, giving a turnover of $11,000 per acre (£17,000 per hectare), yielding $6,000 profit after costs. By contrast, Dellinger said: "I once delivered 17 trailers of pumpkins to Walmart and made $3,000 profit."
Packing alternate pumpkins upsidedown ensures minimal damage to handles, while a two per cent peroxide solution "sterilises the pumpkin so they have it as long as possible", he added.
- More on pumpkin and squash trials, p28.