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Decorating with Pumpkins

Branch Blog

Pumpkin Season Is Upon Us

Pumpkin icon. Vector illustration.

Where can I get pumpkins?

Here are some locations where you can pick your own pumpkins!

Pumpkin Head Pumpkin Patch

2056 Beal Rd. 

Mansfield Ohio 44903

Apple Hill Orchard

1175 Lexington Ontario Rd.
Mansfield, OH 44903
(419) 884-1500

Honey Haven Farm

1327 Co Rd 1475 

Ashland, OH 44805

(419) 289-3384

 

How to pick a great pumpkin

First things first, check to be sure the pumpkin is hard to the touch and doesn’t have any soft spots. Inspect the stem to check that it is of adequate length, but don’t be afraid of a little Stumpkin. Examine all sides of your pumpkin to be sure there are no blemishes or bruises. Once you have found your pride and joy, be sure to carry the pumpkin in your arms, not by the stem. If you carry it by the stem, you risk breaking the stem and  dropping your pumpkin!

Different ways to decorate your pumpkin

During this time of year, carving pumpkins seems to be the most popular. Using a template, trace your design onto your pumpkin. Then, at an angle, cut an opening at the top to remove the seeds, pulp, and other scraplings. Remove these innards, then begin cutting out your design. Find a light source to place inside your pumpkin, replace the top, and observe in the dark for the best viewing experience. 

Painting pumpkins has also become popular in recent years. By starting with a clean pumpkin, you can brainstorm ideas of how to paint it. Take into consideration the pumpkin’s size and shape. You can trace a design onto your pumpkin or go free-hand. Use acrylic paint on your pumpkin, as it is water-based and cleans up easily. To keep your pumpkin in good shape, apply a sealant once the paint dries. 

Pumpkins can also be used in simple table décor, porch décor, or any other décor in your home. For example, I have small pumpkins on my front porch surrounded by mums, gourds, and straw bales. Pumpkins are beautiful by themselves and can be displayed as such!

Can you think of any other ways to decorate pumpkins? Be creative! 

What else can you do with pumpkins?

Roast your pumpkin seeds! Place all of the seeds and pulp into a large bowl full of water. Remove as much of the pulp as you can. Rinse the seeds under cold water using a colander. Spread the seeds out on a dry kitchen towel. Remove any last pieces of pulp, and pat the seeds dry with another kitchen towel. You want them to be as dry as possible! Toss dried seeds in oil or butter and season how you like. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spread the seeds out on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake the seeds for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let them cool, and enjoy! 

Use your pumpkin to make pumpkin puree! After washing your pumpkin, and removing the seeds and pulp, cut your pumpkin in half, then into smaller slices (about 8 slices total.) Place skin-side down on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for around 40 minutes. Cut the pumpkin from the skin, and puree the rest until it is thick and creamy. Use this to make delicious pumpkin pie, pumpkin breads, and much more. Smaller pumpkins work best for this because they have a more condensed flavor. 

Use a pumpkin as a flower pot! Cut a hole in the top, and remove the seeds and pulp. Place a watered vase of beautiful flowers in the hole and admire the fall beauty! Chrysanthemums work well for this! 

Feed deer and other wildlife! Leave your pumpkins at the edge of your backyard or wooded area. Ohio animals will enjoy this tasty fall treat! 

Items at the library about pumpkins and pumpkin decorating

Check out a magazine that focuses on pumpkins! Here are a few good ones:

Better Homes and Gardens

Country Living

Good Housekeeping

The Pioneer Woman

Taste of Home

Great books to check out: 

Gooseberry Patch Halloween 

Pumpkin Decorating by Vicki Rhodes

Pumpkin Chic: Decorating with Pumpkins and Gourds

This blog post was written by Maci Hedeen, pumpkin-eater, of the Plymouth Branch of the Mansfield-Richland county Public Library. 

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