It’s no secret that many Americans enjoy celebrating fall with bonfires, hayrides, and most importantly, pumpkins. Pumpkins are widely used to decorate porches and for carving jack-o-lanterns.
Having a small pumpkin patch on my family’s farm, I have learned a lot about pumpkins over the years. There are over a hundred different varieties of pumpkins in the world today. There are Princess pumpkins, Jarrahdales, Polar Bears, Prize Winners, Porcelain Dolls, Jack-Be-Littles, and my favorite, Casperitas. One of the most common varieties is the Gladiator pumpkin as it is an ideal size and type for carving. The Celtic tradition of carving a Jack-O-Lantern dates back thousands of years.
Pumpkins and Jack-O-Lanterns have also been incorporated into popular culture. We’ve seen them in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
Pumpkins are of peak consumption for Jack-O-Lanterns and pumpkin pies starting Oct. 1. However, pumpkin farmers and producers have to think about them much earlier to make sure they are available when the weather gets cool. Pumpkins are a 90-day crop that we like to have planted by the Fourth of July to ensure perfect picking for fall.
There’s a little time left in October, so make sure you get your pumpkins this fall!