I’m a little late in posting this, considering our trip to the pumpkin patch back in October was weeks ago. But even though Thanksgiving has passed, the script hasn’t officially flipped over to twinkling lights and eggnog at our house just yet. I figured our pumpkin story is somewhat seasonally appropriate.
So yes, back in October, Mikey, my parents, my neices and I made a trip out to Eckert’s Farm in Belleville, Illinois to pick pumpkins for Halloween. It had been a while since doing the whole pumpkin patch thing, so I was kind of excited about this little weekend adventure. That is, until we pulled into a majorly packed parking lot and took part in the
cattle drive long lines to get onto the hay ride that then took us over the river and through the woods to the actual pumpkin patch. I’m sure you parents of youngsters out there are nodding your heads, thinking duh, that’s what to expect when you sign up for these things. Well, apparently I wore my rose-colored glasses leading up to our pumpkin patch excursion. I didn’t even think of all the hoops you have to jump through before you get to the patch.
Anyway, we eventually hopped off the tractor to go pick our pumpkins and snap a few photos. My niece, Delaney, thoroughly enjoyed digging her hands in the dirt. Aside from getting her feet stuck in pumpkin vines and then getting restless from a lack of nap, I think she enjoyed herself. My other niece, Lillian, looked like a little pumpkin herself, conducting thorough inspections of every giant orange ball she touched.
Mikey and I made our selections. A perfectly round green one that had yet to ripen, a big fat orange one with a gnarly (but cool) stem and a standard one with a flat face, perfect for carving. We even added a few gourds to the mix.
The sun was beaming brightly the whole time, so once we all made it back to our cars, we felt a bit worn out from all the sunshine. But no reason to complain about clear blue skies and full-on sun in late October. All in all, it was a pretty good day.
But here is where our poor pumpkin luck begins.
- When we brought out pumpkins home, we decided to leave them out on the front porch until we had time to wipe the dirt off of them. They ended up sitting there for a couple days, and of course, the pesky birds got to them. Wounded within the first two days. Awesome.
- With a few pecks of flesh eaten off the tops of the pumpkins, we decided to bring them inside. We left them alone for a few days before realizing the big fat orange one was rotting. When Mikey tried to pick it up by the stem, it completely came off, and the pumpkin was soft and mushy around the top. It had to be tossed. Awesome.
- The night before Halloween finally came, which meant time to carve these babies and get them out of our hair for good. The only carve-able pumpkin remaining was the flat-faced one. Mikey dug in and cleaned out the insides. Then, I made the outline of an owl and handed the reins back to Mikey to let him do the carving. Herein lies the problem. The person who outlines should be the person who carves. If the outliner and the carver are different, you risk the carver not being familiar with the outlines. And so Mikey kinda butchered our owl design. I tried to salvage it, but it kept getting lamer and lamer. So we threw up our hands and tossed that one as well. Awesome.
The upside to our poor pumpkin luck is the gourds we scored at Eckert’s and the one green pumpkin that is finally glowing a bright orange in our kitchen window. Next year though, I have every intention of skipping the pumpkin patch, buying the pumpkins from the grocery store and putting the outlining and carving duties in the hands of a single soul. No more of these ridiculous pumpkin shenanigans.