Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

I love fall. The cool air, leaves changing color, and Halloween. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is hit the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin for carving.  It’s even more special now that my daughter is at the age to enjoy helping me.

Several times though, we have wound up with pumpkins that just didn’t meet the jack-o-lantern status. So how do you choose the perfect pumpkin if you’re heading out to the pumpkin patch this week or weekend? Here are a few tips to make it a fun family adventure!

  1. Check the pumpkins for soft spots and signs of mold. Make sure you check underneath and press on it with your thumbs- it’s not fresh if it gives a little.
  2. Choose a lighter pumpkin now because pumpkins continue to ripen and will get more orange after they are picked. If you go lighter now you’ll have the perfect shade by Halloween.
  3. Look for one with the handle or stem in tact and try for a green stem. That’s a sign it was picked recently, compared to a brown stem.
  4. Look for pumpkins with flat walls and no deep ribs because those are better for carving. Also skip the tall oblong pumpkins which typically have stringier flesh, making precise cuts difficult.
  5. Finally make sure to put your pumpkin on a flat surface to be sure it sits upright.

Happy Pumpkin Searching!



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