CENTER, Wis. (WFRV)- We are about a week away from the start of Fall, but it is never too early to start thinking about your favorite seasonal activities.

Now this season is not just about those pumpkin spice lattés or your favorite pumpkin pie, but also heading out to the pumpkin patch and finding that perfect one to carve up for Halloween.

But how exactly are our pumpkins across northeast Wisconsin responding to the continued drought conditions across the area?

Look no further, I visited Hofacker’s Hillside Orchard in the Town of Center where I chatted with Greg Hofacker, the owner of the orchard. He said most of his pumpkin varieties have responded very well to this summer’s drought:

“We call them ‘Little Giants’ behind us, you see those are twenty-five to forty-pound pumpkins, they came in great. There are eight varieties in this new pumpkin patch that we have. There are some like the ‘Dandy Reds’, they didn’t germinate where they needed to be, they are well behind, a month behind”.

This is no surprise to some as locations in southwest Wisconsin have not even produced a crop this season, said Hofacker. As a result of this continued drought, some locations like Green Lake, Marquette, and Waushara counties remain in a severe to extreme drought, according to our latest Drought Monitor.

Pumpkins do however respond well to hot and dry conditions, but some rain is needed to get the crops going. Why has Hofacker seen great success in his crop so far? Plain and simple, timing and perfect planning:

“It’s a year of timing. It’s when you put the seed in the ground and when you got the rain and Mother Nature dictates that. As you can see behind us, we had them in at the right time, we were just fortunate enough”.

According to Hofacker’s Hillside Orchard website, the orchard is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays for pick your apples, including McIntosh and Honeycrisp, and pumpkins along with a corn maze open during the orchard’s hours.