Pumpkin picking

first_imgBy William Terry KelleyUniversity of GeorgiaCorn shocks, hay bales, Indian corn and pumpkins have become popular in store windows, front yards and even the house in celebrating the fall season.When it comes to pumpkins, orange is still the norm, but you may want to try some alternative colors to enhance your fall display.Several newer varieties have expanded shoppers’ choices when hunting for the “Great Pumpkin.” There are buff colors, whites, reddish-orange and even blue-gray to choose from.Some of these may not have the look and shape of a standard pumpkin. But they do make for an attractive mix in the fall decor.Miniature pumpkins offer several options, including white, green mixed with orange and a fairly new one that’s a mixture of green, orange, white and yellow.Minis are sometimes coated with polyurethane to protect them and extend their shelf life. However, if you buy them without the coating, it’s easy to do yourself with a spray can or a small paint brush.Pick carefullyThe recent tropical storms have had an impact on the quality and quantity of pumpkins available this fall. Many were washed away by the torrential rains.The wet weather has also produced pumpkins that may not keep as well as in a drier season. Shoppers may pay a little extra for pumpkins this fall, and the selection may not be quite as extensive. So shop early.As you shop for the perfect pumpkin, be sure it has no soft spots or damage that will reduce the shelf life. Look for a good stem that’s fully dried. The more blemish-free the fruit, the longer it will likely last.Creative carvingWhen you’re carving for contests or Halloween, don’t cut the pumpkin more than a day in advance. You can extend the life of the carved pumpkin by keeping it covered with a damp cloth when it’s not on display.There are always plenty of resources you can use to carve out new and innovative designs. Carving kits are easily accessible in many stores and roadside pumpkin markets.One new product this year is a Dremel pumpkin-carving implement. The famous craftsmanship tool has developed a special unit just for use when carving your pumpkin. This device may make it easier to do those more complex designs you only dreamed about in the past.The possibilities continue to become endless for creating your own unique fall display.last_img

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