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Pumpkin Patch Insider

Educator Resources

October is (for obvious reasons) Pumpkin Month in Virginia.  Pumpkin carving and decorating with pumpkins is a long time tradition for many families.

To help you enjoy your Virginia Grown pumpkin, VDACS offers the following pumpkin carving tips:

  • Decide in advance how you plan to display your pumpkin so you can pick the best size, shape and surface for your project. Pumpkins with smooth surfaces are easier to paint, but the bumpy surface pumpkins can add a scary touch.
  • Always choose pumpkins that are firm, unblemished and have a stem.
  • To maintain freshness, store your pumpkin in a cool, dry space until you are ready to decorate or carve it.
  • To keep a carved pumpkin from drying out and wrinkling, rub petroleum jelly or vegetable oil on the cut surfaces and keep it out of heat and direct sunlight.

Cutting scary faces (or other shapes) in pumpkin not your thing?  Check out 5 other uses for pumpkins:

  1. Make a pumpkin planter!Cut off top, remove insides, add potting soil and plant!
  2. DIY pumpkin mask!High in zinc, vitamin A, C and E, pumpkins are skin healthy!Mix five teaspoons puree with three teaspoons brown sugar, and a tiny splash of milk.Apply to skin in circular motions and let sit for up to 20 minutes, rinse with warm water.
  3. Feed wildlife!Old pumpkins and seeds can be fed to deer, rabbits, and birds.
  4. Turn pumpkin shells into serving bowls!Hallow out and brush with a little oil.Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.Use to serve soup or stew.
  5. Make pumpkin stock!Boil stringy pieces that surround the seeds with celery tips and carrot tops for 30 minutes.Strain and use for soups and casseroles or freeze for later use.

And check out these fun facts about what is possibly the largest fruit on the planet…

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