These members of the squash family produce fruits in all different shapes, sizes, and colors; there are huge ones, tiny ones, stumpy ones, tall ones, and even bumpy ones.Of course, you could just grab whatever's at the grocery store, but you'll get a fresher and more interesting selection at a pumpkin farm.Along with the classic pumpkins for carving your spooktacular Jack-o'-lanterns, many farms also grow several types of heirlooms, which are older varieties that have unique characteristics such as deep ribs, bumpy skin, and all sorts of colors.Look for a firm, dark green stem and avoid those that look brownish, mushy, or dried out.A cut stem acts like a wick that seeps water from the inside of the pumpkin, leading quickly to shriveling.To slow down that water loss, make sure to cut the pumpkin from the plant by snipping the vine itself on either side of where the stem is attached (like the photo above).And that stem may look like the perfect handle for picking up your pumpkin, but to avoid breaking it off and causing more water loss from the fruit, lift it up from the bottom.If the flesh feels spongy when you press it with a finger, move on to another pumpkin, stat. .
5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Pumpkin
Make sure the bottom of the pumpkin isn’t soft and mushy!Avoid bruised pumpkins and look for a smooth surface if you’re carving.Do not pick pumpkins off the vine because they have reached your desired size.To slow decay, leave an inch or two of stem on pumpkins and winter squash when harvesting them.Here’s how to properly cure and store your pumpkins so it lasts longer!See our free Pumpkin Growing Guide with tips on when to harvest;.The big yellow pumpkins will soon come handy to give the cows. .
When to Harvest Pumpkins
To further ensure their ripeness, you can also tap on the rind, and you should hear a nice hollow thump like a drum.Select a sharp knife or garden shears and cut the thick stem approximately three to four inches from the top of the pumpkin.Stems are rather delicate and can break off easily, exposing the pumpkin premature rot, pests, and disease. .
6 Tips for How to Pick a Pumpkin That's Perfect for Your Jack O
And with the changing season come fall festivities-baking pies, navigating corn mazes and, of course, scouting out the best pumpkins you can get your hands on.While trekking through farm fields and nurseries to pick a pumpkin, be sure to avoid any squash with soft spots or cuts.Cold weather damages flesh and skin, making the pumpkin rot faster and giving it a mushy texture.To look for frost damage, check the color surrounding the stem; if it’s duller than the rest of the pumpkin’s vibrant shade of orange, put it back.Of course, you want to pick a pumpkin that’s free from blemishes and soft spots, but that doesn’t mean your gourd of choice needs to be flawless.Don’t use traditional flames: Flickering candles look so great in jack o’ lanterns, but they aren’t the best thing to keep your ghoulish designs intact.—Jennifer Dorff, Waukesha, Wisconsin I saw these cute cakes at a local grocery store and decided to make my own version at home.—Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California Go to Recipe Cream cheese, mozzarella and roasted red peppers make these pumpkin-shaped pinwheels devilishly delicious.—Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California Taste of Home Jack-o'-Lantern Sandwiches Be prepared for happy faces when you make these eye-catching jack-o'-lanterns.We loaded the sandwiches with flavorful fillings, then easily formed fun pumpkin shapes using cookie cutters.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Be prepared for happy faces when you make these eye-catching jack-o'-lanterns.We loaded the sandwiches with flavorful fillings, then easily formed fun pumpkin shapes using cookie cutters.—Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington Jack-o'-Lantern Empanadas Your trick-or-treaters will love these spooktacular pockets with silly grins.The savory filling is perfectly spiced, and the refrigerated pie crust makes prep easy.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Your trick-or-treaters will love these spooktacular pockets with silly grins.I just bake brownie batter in a pizza pan, spread with orange-tinted frosting and let the kids design a pumpkin stem and jack-o'-lantern face using candy.I just bake brownie batter in a pizza pan, spread with orange-tinted frosting and let the kids design a pumpkin stem and jack-o'-lantern face using candy.—Rachel DeVault, Grove City, Ohio Go to Recipe Set out a variety of toppings and let the kids decorate their pumpkin-head pizzas.Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy filled cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year.Bursting with flavor and plenty of eye-catching appeal, these sweet and spicy filled cupcakes are bound to dazzle your family any time of the year.Use a cookie cutter to easily cut these homemade chocolate brownies into pumpkin shapes, then give them personality with orange, black and green frosting.Use a cookie cutter to easily cut these homemade chocolate brownies into pumpkin shapes, then give them personality with orange, black and green frosting.Colored frosting and candy faces make these addicting cookie pops the perfect Halloween treat.—Martha Hoover, Coatesville, Pennsylvania Go to Recipe A miniature candy bar is hidden inside these fun pops.Colored frosting and candy faces make these addicting cookie pops the perfect Halloween treat.—Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota Go to Recipe A slice into this fun pumpkin-shaped dessert reveals a moist banana cake inside.—Gena Lott, Ogden, Utah Go to Recipe Make a smiley statement by decorating a whole tray of cupcakes.To make things even easier for them, we got the idea to dunk them in premade caramel apple dip instead of using frosting.To make things even easier for them, we got the idea to dunk them in premade caramel apple dip instead of using frosting.They have a delicious orange frosting and can be decorated with candy pumpkins.—Barb Schlafer, Appleton, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Sweet tooths will polish off these wonderful bars.—Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia Go to Recipe I've been making these Halloween cookies for about 40 years—first for my children and now my grandchildren and all their friends, too.—Stan Strom, Gilbert, Arizona Go to Recipe This is the best holiday pie I've ever tasted, with apple butter, orange and maple flavors mingling with the pumpkin.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Cast a sweet spell over your Halloween party guests by making a pumpkin patch’s worth of treats. .
Best Pumpkin Picking Near NYC 2021
The store features a full breakfast and lunch menu, so leave your picnic basket home and try some of their farm fresh creations instead.From the station, hop in a taxi for 1.9 miles for a total travel time of 2 hours, 20 minutes. .
How Do I Know When My Pumpkin Is Ripe? Picking and Harvest Tips
The other day, I brought my friend out to the garden and parted the vines of my ‘Howden’ pumpkin plant, revealing an enormous green fruit.I knew it had something to do with the green color changing to the classic rich orange that this cultivar typically exhibits.As long as you know what to watch out for, you’re sure to pick your pumpkin at its prime, to enjoy as a Halloween decoration, pureed and baked in a pie, or slow-cooked to perfection in your favorite fall soup.By monitoring your Cucurbit plants and keeping your eye out for these five signs, you won’t miss the perfect picking time.An important thing to do is keep tabs on how long your plant has been growing and compare it to the days-to-maturity section on your seed packet.But instead of using this timeframe as a hard and fast rule, just start keeping your eye out for signs of readiness once mid-August hits.So you’ll need to harvest them early and let them ripen indoors if you notice that the weather’s going to cool off significantly, or your first killing frost is on the way.All immature gourds are green, so it’s common sense to assume that a pumpkin isn’t ripe until it turns orange, right?Along with color, one of the most important indicators of squash maturity is the shell, which should be hard and firm if you aim to keep a pumpkin around for a few months.If your nail makes a small dent but does not puncture the skin, that’s a good sign that the rind has matured into a hard shell and it’s time to pick your Cucurbit.The shell will protect the pumpkin from pests and diseases after it’s picked, which means it can be featured as a bright spot of autumnal sunshine on your front porch for a nice, long time.Say your gourd has mostly turned orange, and the vine around it is beginning to succumb to autumn’s cool temperatures.If the stem of your gourd feels hard to the touch, as opposed to being slightly spongy, check the color.The portion of stem that you leave on the gourd will actually continue to provide the last dregs of nutrients to the fruit, meaning it will last longer after it’s harvested.All you need to do is wipe the freshly cut fruit down with a dry cloth, and leave it in a warm, sunny spot for 10 days to two weeks.If your area is extra hot, you may want to provide a few hours of shade each day so the skin doesn’t get sunscald.After a week and a half or so of curing, your pumpkin will store nicely in a cool (50°F or slightly higher), dark, dry place until you can cook it. .
Pumpkins Harvest and Store Tips
A mature pumpkin will have a hard, shiny shell that is not easily dented or punctured by a fingernail.Do not leave pumpkins in the garden if the weather turns cold and rainy or if a freeze is predicted.If pumpkins can’t be harvested before cold and rainy weather comes, put hay or straw under them to prevent rot caused by contact with damp soil.Pumpkin vines can be prickly, so protect your skin by wearing gloves and long sleeves when harvesting.Cure pumpkins by setting them in a warm place–80-85°F (26-29°C) and 80 to 85 percent relative humidity—for 10 days to two weeks.Curing will harden the skin, heal wounds, ripen immature fruit, and, importantly, improve flavor.Curing will harden the skin, heal wounds, ripen immature fruit, and, importantly, improve flavor.If frost or cold nights are predicted, cover curing pumpkins with old blankets or move them into a shed or garage. .