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Deck the porch with happy pumpkins


My kids visit the Pumkin Patch in Huntington Beach, photo by Randy Lewis

In October, we are all children for a little while again. We dress up, eat too much candy and bedeck our homes, cubicles and any other available space with all manner of ghosts, ghouls and of course Jack-o-lanterns. Black and orange appear all over our towns and the scent of cinnamon brooms invades our grocer. No matter what your personal opinion of the holiday it marks the beginning of all our favorites. After Halloween, there is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years three months of merriment that begins with costumes and ends with carols. For now let’s focus on Halloween and how your local Farmers Market can help.

Pumpkins, gourds, decorative multicolor dried corn are just the beginnings and with dried leaves can create a beautiful harvest theme. With paint, carving knives, fabric and flames we can create lanterns, ghosts, cats, witches and more. You can even use a hot glue gun and use the colored corn to paint pictures on your pumpkin canvas. You may even want to use legumes to create a snaking line in black or creepy eyes of split peas. This is the one season even our mothers let us play with our food, so get out and get playing.

Remember to store your pumpkin in a cool place, like under the stairs. When you cut the pumpkin to keep it pretty and moist rub petroleum on all the flesh, also covering your pumpkin with saran wrap will help it last longer. A cut pumpkin will only last 48 hours here in So. California since it is warm and humid, even with these precautions so remember to cut only a day in advance. If you are using the shallow, carve method, like Pumpkin Master it may last up to a week once coated with petroleum jelly.

In addition to your local Farmers Markets, you may want to check the local Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes for even more Halloween fun! Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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