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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

Halloween is looming around the corner, which means it’s almost time to start carving those pumpkins. So what type of pumpkin makes the best jack o’lantern? Before heading to the pumpkin patch or farmers’ market, take a minute to read these helpful hints on picking the perfect pumpkin.

  • The first step to finding the right pumpkin is deciding on the design you want to carve. Depending on the size and shape of your design, you may need a tall narrow pumpkin or a short round one.
  • Smaller pumpkins are suitable for carving simple traditional jack o’lantern faces.
  • Medium sized pumpkins are good selections for most stencil patterns.
  • For more intricate and elaborate designs, you may want to choose a larger pumpkin so it will be easier to carve.
  • A pumpkin with a smooth surface will give you the best working canvas.
  • The pumpkin should be flat on the bottom so it will not roll.
  • Avoid pumpkins with scratches, nicks, cuts, and dents unless they will enhance your design.
  • Pass up pumpkins with bruises since these will decay faster.
  • Lighter colored pumpkins are normally softer, making carving easier.
  • Look for a ripe pumpkin with a sturdy stem. Do not carry the pumpkin by its stem to avoid breaking it. If the stem does break off, it can be patched back using toothpicks. If your perfect pumpkin is missing its stem, instead of carving out a lid on top, simply carve out the bottom. Place a candle on the carved out section, and then set the pumpkin over it.

Now you’re ready to seek out that perfect pumpkin and start carving. Have fun, and enjoy a Happy Halloween!

1 comment

1 Jerry { 10.20.10 at 2:30 pm }

Sounds good… I didn’t know about the color difference. That’s to look for when carving.. Thanks!

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