It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re decking the halls—not with boughs of holly—with ghouls and bats and cobwebs and, of course, pumpkins. If you like the Halloween season as much as we do, tune in. We are about to present to you our guide to obtaining the choicest selections of the quintessential symbol of Halloween: pumpkins.
The first order of business is to find a proper patch. We like Sekapp Orchard (3415 Collegeview Rd. E) here in Rochester because, well, it’s here in Rochester. And they’ve got a glut of the goods,from pie pumpkins to Pokémon pumpkins (a shrewd nod to the recent trend, albeit not a real pumpkin variety). If you’re also partial to mums, fresh produce, and mini-doughnuts with hot apple cider (who isn’t?), this is the place for you.
If you’re inclined to explore patches outside our county (and you enjoy the aesthetic of websites from the late 90s), visit pumpkinpatchesandmore.org to find pumpkin-picking practically anywhere you want to go.
Between the geographic proximity and the mini-doughnuts, Sekapp was the perfect pumpkin destination with our post-school day, tired, cranky kindergartener in tow. On a better day (a.k.a. the weekend), Tweite’s Family Farm (1821 Frontier Rd SW, Byron) is another good spot for those with energy to spare on slides, corn mazes, and mini golf. Maybe next time, Liam.
Once you’re in the sea of orange, you’ve got to find the good ones. What marks a good pumpkin? Roundness and… orangeness? Good start, now pick it up by the stem. What’s in your hand? A stem? Wrong pumpkin. A pumpkin? Good, next step.
Turn it over and press your thumbs onto the bottom. Where are your thumbs? Inside the pumpkin? Wrong pumpkin again. On a firm, heavy pumpkin with no give? You’re almost there!
Inspect the entire pumpkin. What is your upper lip doing? Turning up in disgust as you observe the moldy open sore in the rotting flesh? Way wrongpumpkin. Topping a triumphant grin as you bask in the orange glow of an immaculate specimen? Put that thing in your wagon, because you’ve found a perfect pumpkin.
Now, just for fun, pick up a completely rotten one and ask your family, “How about this one?” What are they doing? Not laughing? Really? Okay, yeah, not very funny. Kind of gross. It seemed funny when I picked it up, but then…okay, Moving on…
While you’re cleverly collecting the cream of the crop, make sure you know your cargo’s destination. If they’ll be going under the knife, go for the (painfully obvious) Jack-O-Lantern variety. If pie is on the menu, Cinderella or Sugar Pie will never let you down. Kobocha and Red Kuri are excellent companions for a cup of savory soup.
Wherever you choose to procure your precious pumpkins this year, you can now approach the field as an expert. May your skilled selection keep your prizes from meeting that common melancholy fate, strewn on the street Billy Corgan style. Happy picking, and we’ll see you at the patch!