The pumpkins we planted in our garden this year didn’t bear any fruit, so we headed to a local pumpkin patch (Grizzy’s in Marengo, Illinois) to pick out some pumpkins for Halloween.
Our boys had fun choosing pumpkins and gourds, and they were amused by a sign in the barn at the farm:
We’ve never had an issue with a pumpkin rotting before we had time to carve it, but as it turns out, this pumpkin farm’s guarantee came in handy.
We brought our pumpkins home on October 16th. By the 20th, my oldest son’s pumpkin had developed some brown spots on the top. On the 21st, the top caved in and we could see rot inside. We took the pumpkin back and exchanged it for a new one.
Our plan was to carve pumpkins this past weekend, but on Saturday we noticed brown spots on the top my youngest son’s pumpkin. By Sunday, the brown spots had gotten larger. I moved the pumpkin to the garage and told the kids we’d take it back after school and swap it for a different pumpkin too.
It was incredible how much the pumpkin’s rot progressed overnight..! I went out to our garage this morning and saw this:
From the top, it looked even worse — the entire top of the pumpkin caved in overnight and had rotted from the inside out:
I could not believe how quickly the entire pumpkin fell apart. I put it in a bucket, and we took it back to the pumpkin farm. We exchanged it again. The family that owns the farm told us that this has been a bad year for pumpkins in Illinois, something I’ve read in the news too — our heavy spring rains have caused large-scale pumpkin rot. According to the Chicago Tribune, another local farmer lost 60% of his pumpkin crop to rot.
It certainly isn’t the farm’s fault that this happened, but we were very happy that they sold their pumpkins with a guarantee. We ended up using it!
Once we had two good pumpkins at home, the boys wasted no time in decorating, cleaning and carving them tonight. This was the first year they did nearly everything themselves, from cleaning them out to creating their designs to much of the cutting. Dad and I helped cut the holes in the top and a few of the corner cuts, but they were so proud of their creations!
I would guess any parent of boys the ages of my sons can tell what they were going for here… :)
And now, I’ve got a little work to do too. Roasting pumpkin seeds – yum!