When I was younger, October used to be one of my favorite months of the year. Why? Because every October, in preparation for Halloween, my family would go to the “pumpkin patch” at the Farmer’s Market.
For those of you who have been to a pumpkin patch, I need hardly remind you of the pleasure in sifting through (and perhaps climbing upon) the mountain of orange gourds. It is a pleasure not diminished with age, and one that I have repeated many a time. And of course, in addition to the digging and mountaineering that goes on at pumpkin patches, one of the greatest delights is the hunt for the perfect pumpkin.
We all, of course, have our own aesthetic ideals regarding what consitutes “the perfect pumpkin.” Large or small, heavily grooved or smooth – all these details are weighed in our choice. Personally, I look for a pumpkin endowed with an unusual stem, for I find that these often make the best noses, and in turn, the most expressive faces. Last year’s edition took an interesting twist, for my fellow pumpkineers and I found that the bill-like stem of our pumpkin made for the creation of an amazing – and quite realistic – “King platypus.”
But whether or not you know your criteria for choosing that perfect pumkin, I highly recommend visiting a pumpkin patch this October. For even a simple thing like picking a pumpkin can be fun, artistically challenging, and often self-revealing.