Logan Garner is a program manager for ISDA’s environmental stewardship team. Today, he shares his “Top 5” for selecting a good carving pumpkin. Enjoy!
Logan’s tips for selecting the perfect pumpkin
5. Make sure it’s free of disease.
No one likes a knobby, spotty pumpkin–unless you just feel sorry for it (or you’re going for that Boris Karloff look).
4. Look for one with a healthy stem and a flat bottom.
I like my pumpkins to sit level (or even look up a tad) and have a strong stem for grabbing and opening the top. Some folks like to carve out the bottom and place the opening directly over the candle, which eliminates the “flat bottom” issue, but I was raised on the “lobotomy” method: scoop out the brains and guts from the top. It just feels more Halloween-y that way…or maybe I’m just afraid of change.
3. Go for that nice bright (but light) orange.
A uniformly-colored pumpkin is a no-brainer, but also keep in mind that pumpkins tend to darken as they expire (a process which speeds up big time once you’ve carved your Jack-o’-Lantern and exposed its insides to the air). A deep yellow-orange is my go-to color to ensure that I don’t have a rusty looking pumpkin hiding in the dark by Halloween.
2. Go big.
This one’s pretty simple but very important, at least to me. I like big pumpkins because they aren’t as tedious to gut or carve. They also have more seeds, and I love roasted pumpkin seeds! Why let them go to waste?
And finally the most important tip…
1. Choose a good canvas!
That means after carefully narrowing down your selection, choose the pumpkin with a flat, wide “face” on it to carve, well, a face! Maybe it’s the lazy-man’s approach, but I find that by avoiding really rounded or bulbous sided pumpkins, I don’t have to worry about that pesky problem of potentially disproportionate facial features (read: I’m not an artist and need all the help I can get).
Need a place to pick a pumpkin with your family? Check out this post from Indy with Kids.