Morton Illinois. Not only do 200 or so farms plant several thousand acres of pie pumpkins, but the Libby canning factory is located in Morton as well.
That gives Morton a pretty good claim to the title it embraces, Pumpkin Capital of the World. And in a good year with a cool Midwestern summer like this one, Libby's has the cannery running day and night.
The pumpkins Nestle wants aren't the pretty varieties prized for carving. They're Dickinsons: beige, oblong, thin-skinned and grown lying on their sides. What matters is what's inside, a thick layer of rich, bright-orange meat.
Fournie Farms in Collinsville always plants these grayish/beige pumpkins and once or twice I've tried my hand at making a pumpkin pie from scratch, but it's a lot of work. Nice to know buying a can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie filling is pretty darn local.
Mrs. Fournie told me the other day their crop might be very slim because rain came at the worst time during the vine flowering.
We're growing pumpkins on campus this year, but we chose the very smallest kind in hopes that every child might get one.