Everyone around is in the mood for carving Jack-O- Lanterns this weekend, Halloween is almost here ! A visit to the pumpkin patch each year has almost become a tradition at our home, ever since I moved to this country. Something about those orange balls lying on the hay or farm grounds warms my soul.It is always in my bucket list of things to do each Fall and needless to say , I headed to the pumpkin patch this year too.
There is something so real and uplifting when you drive through mud roads across barns heading to the pumpkin farms. Nature doesn’t get more real than that , a bit of earth, farm animals or a petting zoo, children’s laughter…..life becomes a celebration !
Farms , barns and pumpkin patches make my weekends in Fall.
We were greeted at the entry way by a huge board that let us know the fun things inside.
OMG ! look at those pumpkins !
The wagons were all lined up in the front, so families could get their best pumpkins to take home, large small and the inbetweens.
Did you know, these pumpkins had different names and were used for different purposes ? I did not either, until recently ! So here it goes…
Baby Bear Pumpkins : They are smaller versions of the Jack -O Lantern Pumpkin varieties. They are wonderful for kids to decorate and they make excellent bowls for a festive Fall soup.
The Sugar Pies : The little one just as the name suggests makes for good pies!
The Fairytale Pumpkins: The silvery orange kinds look great when grouped together in decor. Due to their plump shape they don’t make great Jack- O – lanterns but are well suited for Pies
Aladdin Pumpkins : The standard pumpkin to be carved into a Jack -O-Lantern, since it has thin meat and a more cavernous interior than the other kinds, hence much more easier to carve.
The Lumina : Stark white on the outside, bright orange on the inside. They are best for carving as Jack -O- Lanterns. Their fleshy pulp makes for wonderful pies.
The Jarrandale Pumpkins : The pale green exterior of the pumpkin make it more appealing for decorating your Fall table. It has medium sweet flesh, good for baking, but it’s tough skin is hard to cut.
Kokai : The dual tone of these pumpkins makes them interesting in decor, but the real treat lies inside. Their seeds are hull-less (no rough shell), so they are fabulous roasted.
The Rouge Vif deTampes Pumpkin : Most commonly known as the Cinderella Pumpkin. This bright orange variety is rumored to be the pumpkin served by the pilgrims at Thanksgiving. It’s perfectly used in decor although it can be eaten too !
It is quite possible that the cutest thing I have seen are the gourds, they come in all shapes and colors and used both as decor for food.
When dried and carved they make the most amazing art pieces. Here are a few I have seen in the past in fairs around town, which made me crave to learn the art of gourd carving as a hobby.
Gourd Art : Dried gourds are carved and painted as beautiful pieces of art.
Next came the , corn stalk stacked against the barn doors….
The Indian corn, in varied colors, some took them home to make colorful Fall wreaths, some just to add to the Fall decor.
The Hay from the farms around…..
…stacked in bales!
The different kinds of wood for the fire place during the winter months.
The Farm stand that contained Fresh Apple Cider, Carved pumpkins, Taffy apples and locally grown farm vegetables.
Wood art for sale….
Are you ready for the Halloween ?
The origin of Halloween dates back to 3000 years to the Celtic celebration of Samhain, means Summer End. Glowing jack-o-lanterns were set on porches and windows to welcome deceased loved ones, and also protect against malevolent spirits. End of Summer was believed that the souls of the dead were closest to this world and was the best time to contact them to say good bye. It was also a celebration of harvest. When Irish arrived in America, they found the native pumpkin to be larger and easier to carve, as to be the perfect choice of jack-o-lanterns.
For my part, I tried my hand at pumpkin carving a few years ago, I carved our elephant God, Ganesha to welcome the harvest season.Had no pumpkin carving tools or previous experience, used the kitchen knife to give it a try and the end result….
Happy Halloween !