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You Can Grow It: Finding the right pumpkin patch

Finding the perfect pumpkin for Halloween can be a challenge. Jim Duthie takes us to a local pumpkin patch where you will find an assortment of not-so-ordinary pumpkins.

Have you picked out your Halloween pumpkins yet? For many of us, it’s an annual family tradition, and there are several places around southwest Idaho where you can find the perfect pumpkin.

Garden master Jim Duthie takes us to one Treasure Valley pumpkin patch, where you’ll find an assortment of not-so-ordinary pumpkins, that will make your Halloween jack-o-lantern really different and unique.

Halloween’s right around the corner, and as you start decorating and choose pumpkins for your jack-o-lanterns, you just might want to look for some pretty unique ones. Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch has pretty interesting gourds, squashes and pumpkins.

On this sunny but blustery fall day, a few families have brought out the little guys in search of just the right pumpkin for Halloween.

Four-year-old Ayden had a little trouble picking this one up, but it looks like he eventually found one that he could handle.

"It’s not too heavy,” Ayden said.

There aren’t big crowds and big kids here, and there’s no corn maze to get lost in. It’s a smaller pumpkin patch that’s perfect for the little ones, with lots of fun things to do.

Like wandering through the hay bale maze, then taking a turn riding the bale bull, and playing in the corn kernel sandbox with starry the goat, who’s just another kid.

Owner Jordan Risch says that was the whole idea behind his pumpkin patch.

“I’ve been doing this for four years, and seeing the kids come in when they’re really, really little, and every year there’s a new addition to the family, or the kids are a little bit bigger, you just remember them from year to year,” Risch said. “It’s been a pretty big hit with the community. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback with what we’re doing here.”

And then there are the pumpkins, with a huge variety of different and unique ones to choose from.

Of course, there are the traditional orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

“I like the round, bigger rounder ones.”

“Yeah, like that size…. make a face.”

As well as many different colored pumpkins, including some that would make a really strange jack-o-lantern face.

“Like a monster, a monster face, or like it has pimples all over it.”

There are even some little alien-looking gourds that the kids would like.

“She likes the squash.”

Some of these pumpkins are almost bigger than the kids and certainly weigh more.

“They’re all squash or varieties of squash. Over the years I’ve added some that are unique and different," Risch said. "So you get a lot of these different ones that are green, solid colors, or with the bumps on them.”

“Some of them don’t have names. They’re just crossbred, and whatever looks cool we kind of keep encouraging and grow from year to year.”

“This one here is called a ’wolf pumpkin.’ It’s got a huge stem on it.”

“These ones are called ‘Goosebumps.’”

“Just had a mutation where they have these little bumps on them, and people love them, like a warty witch or whatever.”

“Again, just crossed two different varieties, and you get these cool, unique colorations on it, and shapes, and textures to them.”

Some of them are so unique that the growers have patents and trademarks on them.

“So this one is actually a trademark called ‘One Too Many’, and the reason why they call it that is because it closely resembles a blood-shot eyeball.”

“These are called “Cinderellas,” because they kind of are shaped like the typical Cinderella pumpkins.”

“And then, of course, the big ‘white ghost’ pumpkin, which isn’t a pumpkin at all. That’s actually a squash.”

This one even has an eerie greenish-blue tint to it.

“Yeah, so that’s called a ‘blue doll.’”

“People that come in here get super creative with these pumpkins. They’ll go ‘I’m going to use this one to make a Frankenstein out of,’ or if they can find a green warty one, ‘this one’s going to be a witch,’ or put a ghost or a skeleton on the white ones. They get really creative about the pumpkins they choose and what they’re going to do with them.”

So if you’re looking for just the right kind of pumpkin to satisfy your Halloween imagination, you’ll probably find it here at Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch.

Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch has two locations, one in Meridian on Fairview Avenue between Eagle Road and Locust Grove Road, and another in Boise next to Hillcrest Shopping Center. There’s no entrance fee. The only cost is for the pumpkins you buy.

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