Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

It's not your imagination. Pumpkins are popping up everywhere these days and in all kinds of creative uses. Beyond the pumpkin pie and pumpkin ice cream are pumpkin-flavored coffee and tea and even beer and ale. You can moisturize your skin with pumpkin body butter and burn pumpkin pie-scented candles.

From a business perspective, pumpkins are a limited and seasonal crop, but Ohio consistently ranks in the nation's top five pumpkin producers.

In the past 10 years, Ohio's pumpkin harvest has grown from a $10 million crop in 2003 to over $15 million last year. Pumpkin acres harvested in Ohio have increased from 4,000 in 2003 to 6,100 in 2013, fourth behind Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan, respectively, according to data from the United State Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Nationally in the last 10 years, pumpkin production has risen from an $80.2 million business to one valued in 2013 at nearly $150 million.

Ohio's premier pumpkin event kicks off this week just south of Columbus. The Circleville Pumpkin Show, which dates to 1903, begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.