SEQUIM — After seven years of selling “Pumpkins for a Cause,” 17-year-old Carson Holt plans for this year to be his best and last.
Carson, a senior at Sequim High School, has enlisted in the U.S. Army and has plans to become an Army Ranger.
Locals have two chances to buy pumpkins — at the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival today next to the Captain Joseph House’s Chowder Cook-Off, and at his stand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this coming Saturday at the intersection of Old Olympic Highway and Knutsen Farm Road.
Look for the red, white and blue stand once operated by Cameron’s Berry Farm.
Pumpkins range from $1 to $10, with cash and checks accepted.
Carson said opening for one day at the stand is more than enough time to sell out of his homegrown pumpkins.
Last year, he raised $1,900 and split it between the Captain Joseph House Foundation in Port Angeles and the Dungeness Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol (CAP), in which Carson is a chief master sergeant.
Carson estimates he’s given about $3,800 to Captain Joseph House Foundation in five years and last year he helped his CAP unit purchase uniforms for new cadets and emergency beacons.
“People are very generous,” said Carson’s mother, Sauni Holt.
“A lot of it is extra donations,” Carson said.
Originally, Carson started growing and selling pumpkins as a fundraiser for Boy Scouts, and since then he’s sold more than 1,000 pumpkins.
“It’s something I’ve gotten used to doing,” he said.
Carson grows pumpkins at his house and ornamental pumpkins at his grandma Ruby Knapman’s house.
He said pumpkins are kind of picky about water and temperature. In recent years, soaker hoses have made it easier to take care of them, he said, but he must hand water his grandma’s pumpkins.
Before even opening, he’s already sold about $400 worth of pumpkins to longtime supporters.
Sauni Holt plans to again sell wheat-free pumpkin dog treats made of pumpkin, coconut oil, coconut flour, peanut butter and eggs.
She’s also considering continuing her son’s tradition of selling pumpkins on her own and supporting a local organization like Welfare for Animals Guild (WAG).
Prior to leaving for basic training on July 13, Carson will finish his cross country season, continue with Civil Air Patrol, play trombone with Sequim High School’s bands and graduate from Sequim High School.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].