Drought poses challenge to fall festivals

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The lingering affects of Indiana's drought could affect your weekend plans if you're heading for the usual fall destinations - orchards and pumpkin farms.

Some orchards still have apples ready picking, but don't expect any abundance because the crop came early this year. Some orchards aren't allowing picking at all.

At Tuttle's, for example, the early spring, summer heat, and late frosts, yielded only a 10-percent crop.

You can still enjoy a family outing, however.  They've shipped in apples from the west, and still have all the fun activities like hay rides, a corn maze, and farm animals.

At Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville, the 40th Fall Harvest Festival which kicks off this weekend.
Now let's talk about pumpkins.

Purdue University Ag experts say the drought didn't have as bad as an effect as previously thought, because pumpkins did germinate.

For the first time, Stonycreek Farm germinated pumpkins in greenhouses. They planted those seedlings in the field and maintained them with a water truck.
Despite the drought, the farm hopes to yield 50,000 pumpkins for their 40th annual event, despite extreme drought conditions.

Families can take a hay ride out to the patch and pick their own pumpkin.

The Pumpkin Harvest Festival is open every day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and runs until October 31st.

There's also a gourd sling shot, corn cob cannon, inflatables, farm animals, pony rides, a playground, giant hay mound to climb, and the biggest feature, a zipline.