Our family loves to go in the field to pick our Halloween pumpkins. Trekking through the fields looking for the ‘perfect’ pumpkin. Feeling the warm sun on our faces while the crisp winds of autumn whip around us. We talk about how the vine grows,
how the bees pollinate the flowers to help the pumpkins form and finally how the farmer has to care for the fields even after the pumpkins are gone. It is an educational experience for the kids and memories are made for everyone!
I know this is not possible for each and every family but we are fortunate to have lovely farms with in driving distance from our house. I encourage everyone who is in driving distance from a pumpkin patch to go and support that local farmer. With out supporting our farmers we don’t have farms. With out farms we don’t have food.
Don’t know where to start in looking for a place to pick? Use Pick Your Own.org to find a place near you! It is a national database and I use it to find any and all pick your own fields and orchards through out the year!
While in the field make sure the pumpkin:
- isn’t mushy but firm and plump.
- isn’t carried by the stem! Support it from the bottom to ensure the stem stays in tact.
- will accommodate the pattern or the theme you and your family will be creating.
When carving a pumpkin be sure to use sharp tools. Nothing is worse than to use a dull tool. When exerting force on a pumpkin with a dull tool there is no way of knowing when the tool will break through and injury may happen! Using a sharp tool will allow you to pierce the pumpkin and have control over your carving technique.
*note the angle of my knife in this photo. This is the angle you want to use when cutting off the to of the pumpkin. It will keep the pumpkin lid from falling in once replaced on your carved pumpkin.
When scooping out the guts of the pumpkin be sure to save the seeds and roast them! So yummy! Need a recipe? I love these options from 101 Cookbooks.
When scooping out the innards use a solid and rigid scooper. I use a sturdy serving spoon. Some people have used a clean empty tuna can. But be sure to mind the edges!!
Always supervise children! Allow them to help as much as their age allows them.
To help the pumpkin last longer give the cut edges a spray with lysol to kill the bacteria that will cause it to mold and them rub a layer of petroleum jelly (vaseline) on all cut edges. This will seal in the moisture and keep the pumpkin looking fabulous longer!
And for the geek in all of us how about a tutorial on how to create a pumpkin carving from a photo in photoshop. Thank you How-To Geek.com
Do you have a favorite place to get pumpkin carving techniques or patterns? Share it and I will include it in my list so we can all have a happy halloween!