Cinderella wishes she rode in one of today’s hybrid pumpkins. Nowadays, pumpkins are available in hues of red, white, blue, grey, yellow, pink, green, tan, brown, black, as well as, striped, speckled, two-toned and tri-colored combinations. They can be highly textured, flat, short, tall, round, pear, necked, smooth, ribbed, warty, multi-dimensional, and even miniature. Some pumpkins are fabulous for cooking and others for carving and displays.
Here are some funky heirloom favorites; and many of these pumpkin seeds are available from Philadelphia’s Burpee Seed.
- Galeux d’Eysines – Covered with warts, sometimes called peanuts, highly textured
- Marina di Chioggia or Chioggia Sea Pumpkin – Large grey-green and bumpy, highly textured
- Fairytale Smooth and unusual buckskin color with thick ridging
- Turks Turban – Beautiful bright orange skin streaked with green and white and multi-dimensional
- Lumina – The perfect white pumpkin
- Jarrahdale – A bluish-green, smooth, and decorative pumpkin
- Cushaw White – Pear-shaped, creamy white striping on a pale yellow background
- Rouge Vif D`etampes – This is the pumpkin that was used as the model for Cinderella’s coach
Let’s talk monster pumpkins; these giant fruits are fat, funky, and fabulous. Speaking of fat pumpkins, the pumpkin world record is 1810.5 pounds and the PA record is 1662.5 pounds. If you want to see the pumpkin frenzy for yourself, don’t miss the 2nd Annual Monster Pumpkin Madness and County Fair taking place just 30-minutes from Philadelphia in Doylestown on October 15 & 16 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Or, you can take a 50-minute ride outside of Center City and take the kids to Longwood Gardens to play in their Pumpkin Playground; it’s open daily through November 1 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The kids can roll on them, hug them, and even sit on a pumpkin.
And finally, you can opt for a 4-hour drive this Saturday, October 1, to Altoona, PA for The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth Weigh-off in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association’s annual weigh-off is held in Altoona, each year on the first Saturday in October, beginning at 10:00 am. The monster pumpkins will be there this weekend.
Staying close to home this weekend? Take a ride through Philadelphia and its suburbs, or go to any Philadelphia-area garden center, or home improvement store and you’ll see pumpkins popping up everywhere. The funky pumpkin photographs in the slideshow were taken just 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia, at Baxter’s Animal Works,620 W. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne. All of these pumpkins are available for sale right now.
Don’t forget, you can plant veggie seeds now for a fall harvest. Get into the fall season by decorating with these fall garden favorites: Click on each for more information.
- Ornamental peppers, kale, mums and more
- Indian corn
Stay tuned for an updated list of the best of the best Philadelphia Pumpkin patches, as well as, upcoming articles on everything gardening for fall 2011 through the 2012 gardening season. I’ll cover everything from Philly’s Botanical Gardens, to fall foliage, to growing annuals, to houseplants, to decorating for Christmas, to harvesting zucchini, you can find it here; just click the subscribe button at the top of the article, it’s free.
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