The search for the perfect pumpkin

As the weather gets colder and the leaves start falling there's one thing we all crave in the month of October; pumpkin everything! Whether it's a pumpkin spice latte or a homemade pumpkin pie one thing is for certain: the WALLY team has pumpkin fever, which is why we went on a quest to tour different pumpkin patches in a search for the perfect pumpkin.

Our first stop led us to “The Pumpkin Patch” in Centralia, where the field was covered with orange. The WALLY team looked all around to try to find the perfect pumpkin, but it being our first stop, we knew we needed to see what else was out there. Our next stop led us to Velvet Acres Gardens, where our NW Profile the P-Patch People would be quite happy, considering this farm not only has a pumpkin patch, but it also offers a “you-pick” vegetable garden. Here, the WALLY team asked the owners of the farm, Gary and Helen Boldt, what determines the perfect pumpkin. 

1. Type of Pumpkin: There are many different types of Pumpkins: white pumpkins, cheese pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins and even sugar pie pumpkins - the main ingredient in pumpkin pie, YUM! Each pumpkin has a different shape, color, and use. Before this, we thought there was only one type of pumpkin - orange!

2. Shape: Some pumpkins may be perfectly round and some may be a little lopsided. The way a pumpkin will take its shape depends on the way it lays on the ground.

3. Size: A Pumpkin can continue to grow bigger and bigger. How well you tend to the pumpkin and how long you let it grow for can determine the weight and size of a pumpkin. Speaking of pumpkin sizes, the WALLY team will be rowing in a giant pumpkin at the West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, OR on October 19!

We also asked Helen, “what do you do when you find the perfect pumpkin?”

1. Carve: The long tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns that sit on your doorstep is still popular. Some people carve a scary face or a cute animal into their pumpkin, but the best thing about carving a pumpkin is that weird, gooey feeling you get in between your fingers when you gut the pumpkin, right?

2. Paint: If gutting and carving a pumpkin isn't your thing, then you are in luck. Many people will paint their pumpkins, which doesn't make much of a mess and still allows you to decorate it. It also lasts longer than a carved pumpkin!

3. Eat: If you’re a lot like us on the WALLY team then you LOVE pumpkin pie. Whether you bake a pumpkin in a pie, or just the seeds, pumpkins make delicious treats!

Even after gathering all of this information, our search to find the perfect pumpkin continued. We decided on the characteristics of our perfect pumpkin: it must be perfectly round, and not too big or too small. After searching in two different patches, we finally found the perfect pumpkin! Now the question is, what should we do with it? Should we eat it, paint it, or carve it? What would you do?

by  Christa VanWieringen

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