Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

Every family has different criteria for picking the perfect pumpkin. We have three kids and have developed our own special way to pick pumpkins every year. The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers these 5 Tips:

  1. Look for a pumpkin that has a deep orange color.
  2. Knock on the pumpkin to check that it is hollow (and therefore ripe).
  3. Make sure the bottom of the pumpkin isn’t soft and mushy! Also, the bottom should be flat so it doesn’t roll.
  4. Check that the stem is firm and secure. Never pick a pumpkin up from the stem! It may break, which leads to faster decay.
  5. Avoid bruised pumpkins and look for a smooth surface if you’re carving. It will be much easier!

These tips all sound perfectly reasonable – to an adult! My kids, however, have their own methods of picking the perfect pumpkins!

Picking the Perfect Pumpkin
Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

We have three kids so we pick three pumpkins – one for each of them to carve. Not surprisingly, they each look for different things in the perfect pumpkin. One likes to pick the biggest pumpkin. He doesn’t care what colour it is, what shape it is, whether it is good for carving or not, if it’s the biggest it’s the best! The second child likes it to be perfectly proportioned. More round than oval. No bumpy or strange coloured patches. A perfectly shaped stem in just the right size. It sometimes takes us a while to figure out which one will be best each year. And my third child? The weirder the better! Weird colours, bumps, shapes, stems – he likes a pumpkin with personality!

I love watching my kids pick out their perfect pumpkins each year! I try to take pictures of the pumpkins before they get busy carving, just to document their individual selections. Some years I miss these photos but I always get one for my annual photo book with the pumpkins carved and decorating our front porch. And there they are – the big one, the perfect one and the weird one! How do you select your pumpkins? How do you tell these stories?