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, enlisted in the U.S. Army with plans to become an Army Ranger.
Locals have two chances to buy pumpkins — at the Crab Festival on Oct. 13 next to the Captain Joseph House’s Chowder Cook-Off, and at his stand from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 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-$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 split between the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles and the Dungeness Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, which Carson is a chief master sergeant.
Carson estimates he’s given about $3,800 to Captain Joseph House in five years and last year he helped his CAP unit purchase uniforms for new cadets and emergency beacons.
“People are very generous,” Carson’s mom Sauni Holt said.
“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 and in recent years soaker hoses made it easier to take care of them but he must hand water his grandma’s pumpkins.
Before even opening, he’s already sold about $400 worth of pumpkins to long time supporters.
Of his years selling pumpkins, Carson said enjoys going to the Crab Festival and sitting near singer Buck Ellard’s booth to hear his songs.
Sauni Holt plans to sell wheat-free pumpkin dog treats made of pumpkin, coconut oil, coconut flour, peanut butter and eggs again.
She’s also considering continuing her son’s tradition of selling pumpkins on her own and supporting a local organization like WAG, Welfare for Animals Guild.
Prior to leaving for basic training on July 13, Carson will finish his cross country season, continue with Civil Air Patrol, playing trombone with Sequim High School’s bands, and graduating from Sequim High School.