Halloween pumpkin picking

Choosing a pumpkin to cerve is part of the Halloween fun.

If you have the opportunity to choose your Halloween pumpkins from a farm this fall, I would encourage you to do so. The last ten years I have taken my children and grandchildren out to a local farm to pick out our pumpkins. They have a hay wagon loaded with hay bales that we sit on. As the farmer pulls out very slowly, we know that our fall journey has begun. We are on our way to one of the finest times we spend together every year. We travel over often slightly bumpy areas of ground, past recently harvested cornfields to our patch.

This is a time where we are all together with no other sounds but that of the tractor and anxious children. The country farm smells are delightful and the kids laugh gleefully as we near the fields of pumpkins lying ahead. I'm not sure if it's the fact that we can walk all over, through the pumpkin fields or if it's the camaraderie of just being together and having fun, but we always pick out far more pumpkins than we need. The kids and I pick up gourds and squash that we find to be "totally cool" and everyone gets their fill. Some of these special finds are used for home decoration, end up at school in show and tell time and some go home with daycare children that we have. I pick up a few squash to cook, which at first was not real popular at our house with the kids, but now they find that the squash they pick is not really so bad (brown sugar and butter help a lot!) At the farm we visit, they also have pumpkins that are grown specifically for making pumpkin pies. I can tell you that at first I was not excited to make my very own pumpkin pie from scratch but making it a family project, we now find it is as fun as wrapping Christmas presents.

The calendar alone told me that it was fall in September, but my sense of smell and the pumpkin pie baking in the oven is always my way of welcoming fall again every year. Often times we set the pumpkins out as a display for harvest or Halloween decorations because we don't like to carve them too early. We find that in the last week before Halloween we carve the pumpkins and the children take them home. We are so glad that we discovered this way to spend a great time together with the family. Choosing pumpkins from a pumpkin patch is much better than picking them from your local store market. Check around and see if you can't find a patch and start your own family tradition.