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You Can Grow It: Picking the perfect pumpkin for Halloween

There is a huge variety of pumpkins that you can find, in different colors and shapes, to make your Halloween perfectly unique.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Halloween is just around the corner, and perhaps you grew a few pumpkins of your own in your garden this year.  If not, you’re probably looking for that perfect pumpkin for your Halloween jack-o-lantern.

For today's You Can Grow It, we revisited a local pumpkin patch to check out the huge variety of pumpkins that you can find, in different colors and shapes, to make your Halloween perfectly unique. 

Back in 2018, it was a sunny but blustery fall day when we visited Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch in Meridian.  A few families were there in search of just the right pumpkin for Halloween. 

When it comes to picking a pumpkin, you might be surprised by all of the different varieties that are available to suit your fancy, your budget, and your imagination. 

Of course, there are the traditional orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins, 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,” one pumpkin shopper said about a particularly unusual gourd.

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

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

“They’re all squash or varieties of squash, but over the years people have developed a taste for the unique and the different,” said Jordan Risch, owner of Jordan’s Pumpkin Patch. “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,” Risch added.  “They’re just cross-bred, and whatever looks cool we kind of keep encouraging and grow from year to year.”

But some of them do have names that are certainly fitting for Halloween – from the wolf pumpkin, which has a huge stem on it, to one called “goosebumps.”

“Just had a mutation where they have these little bumps on them, and people love them, like a warty witch or whatever,” Risch said of the goosebumps pumpkin. “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,’” Risch explained. “And the reason why they call it that is because it closely resembles a bloodshot eyeball.”

Another pumpkin is aptly named “Cinderella” because they are shaped like Cinderella’s coach in the classic animated Disney movie.

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

A gourd featuring an eerie greenish-blue tint is called a “blue doll.”

“People that come in here get super creative with these pumpkins,” Risch said. “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.”

Local pumpkin growers say there’s no shortage of pumpkins for your Halloween decorations this year, especially the traditional orange pumpkins. 

But if you’re looking for specialty varieties that are unique and different, they sell out much faster, so you’ll want to pick those up soon.

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