Every pumpkin is known by its stem. - proverb
...from the Old Farmers Almanac - October brings autumn into full swing, and who doesn’t love a fall walk in the woods or a stroll through an apple orchard to enjoy the season’s bounty?
We’re noticing pumpkins brightening up farm stands across much of the country. For many, the harvest came early. Here are some tips for pumpkin picking:
...Do not pick pumpkins off the vine because they have reached your desired size. Wait until they mature. (If you want small pumpkins, buy a small variety.)
...Cut fruit off the vine; do not tear. Be sure not to cut too close to the pumpkin and to leave a liberal amount of stem
...Before storing, pumpkins should be cured in the sun for about a week to toughen the skin.
...Early harvest? No worries. If you store in a cool, dry, dark place between 50 and 55 degrees, the pumpkins should last about 6 months.
...They are best stored sitting on a board or cardboard or straw (not a cement floor) about 2 inches apart (not stacked or touching).
...One of our readers shared this tip: Wash a picked pumpkin in a very mild chlorine solution (1 cup of chlorine to 1 gallon of water. This gets rid of bacteria that cause rot. Then thoroughly dry.
If you’re going to a pumpkin patch, remember to buy pumpkins with stems attached; they will keep better.
And the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
Now for October eves!
- Humbert Wolfe (1885–1940)
All this talk of pumpkin gets us excited about mouthwatering pumpkin recipes.
Enjoy these fall favorites—courtesy of our new Everyday Baking cookbook.
TIP: See how to cook and clean a pumpkin.