Choosing the best pumpkin

Choosing that classic pumpkin for the front porch has always been one of my favorite Fall outings to the store or Farmer’s market.  Seeing  the many different sizes and shapes of pumpkins and gourds that farmers have selected to grow from seed is so exciting.  Thanks to all of those farmers who take the time to plant the seeds to give families a fun October celebration.

Personally, I have always liked the Cinderella pumpkins, but over the years have usually chosen the classic carving pumpkin.  That is the one with the stiff straight sides most often with ridges.  I also gravitate to the smooth-sided pumpkins with the soft skin that are perfect for painting.

The rainbow of colors for both pumpkins and gourds are so attractive for any type of Fall decor. I combine them with black lanterns and dried Oriental grasses from my garden the previous year.

Some tips that I use for choosing that perfect pumpkin include:  Choose the one without any cuts or soft spots.  Choose the one with the solid stem at least 1-2 inches long.  The ones with the shorter stems will decay faster.  Choose a heavy and firm pumpkin.  And finally, choose the one that has the greenest stem, as it the freshest pumpkin.

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