As summer turns into autumn, the whole world is ready for a bit of change. The air gets colder and the leaves start to change colors. School is back in session, and that change brings football games, bonfires, and fun memories. For many of us, it’s a glorious time of year, and nothing represents that change of season like the beloved pumpkin.
Just think about it: pumpkin spice shows up in favorite foods, lattes and scented candles. All sorts of beloved baked goods, from muffins to pies, feature this signature fall vegetable. Some of us love savory pumpkin soups, stews, and pasta. It’s always fun to roast some pumpkin seeds after the Jack-O-Lanterns have been carved. And of course, a day at the local pumpkin patch is a delightful way to spend an autumn afternoon.
Pumpkins come in a variety of interesting shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. Here are a few of our favorite pumpkins to grow:
- Connecticut Field pumpkin – The most traditional of all autumn pumpkins, the cultivation of this variety goes all the way back to at least the days of the Pilgrims. Connecticut Field pumpkins are 15-20 pounds and are a favorite for Jack O’Lanterns.
- Casper pumpkin – You can probably guess where this round, white pumpkin gets its name. It’s a great choice for carving a spooky ghost or skull. Casper is also a good choice for painting, thanks to the white skin. Younger kids who aren’t quite ready for carving to love this chance to enjoy the fun.
- Small sugar pumpkin – This one is a standard pie pumpkin. It’s small, round, and has sweet flesh with a good amount of sugar content. It’s really cute, too, and can look quite adorable when carved.
- Big Max pumpkin – If you want to grow an impressively huge pumpkin, Big Max is a sure bet. This is probably the Great Pumpkin that Charlie Brown was talking about. This prize winning pumpkin grows to an impressive 100 pounds if given the right conditions.
As the days start to lengthen, the heat-loving plants in the summer vegetable gardens have stopped producing and are dying back, and it’s time to do some cleanup and plant cool weather crops. Autumn is also time to celebrate the bounty and appreciate our blessings. That’s why it’s so fun to decorate our homes in harvest colors and enjoy fall flavors. The pumpkin is a rich, beautiful symbol of all of the good things that come with autumn.
If you haven’t planted any pumpkins yourself this year, enjoy them canned or store bought. But remember, it’s never to early to start planning for next year’s garden, and how you can create a beautiful little pumpkin patch of your own.