Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable…they are a fruit! Pumpkins, gourds and squash are all members of the Cucurbitacae family which also includes cucumbers and melons. Did you have any idea that there are so many different shapes, sizes, colors and varieties of pumpkins? If not, you have to come and see the selections here at Phelps Nursery. Here are just a few examples of what you will see:
There are so many more we can’t picture them all here, we have a world of color in pumpkins varieties to fit all of your decorating and carving needs.
Without a doubt, the most recognizable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a Jack O Lantern. Selecting the perfect pumpkin you will carve is very important. You will need to pick your pumpkin around what you want to carve. Advance planning is the key to your pumpkin carving success.
NEVER carry your pumpkin by the stem as it may break! If it does break, you can use toothpicks as a basic patch. Care should also be taken not to bruise your pumpkin during transport as this will shorten their life span. Depending on weather conditions, an untreated carved pumpkin can have a life span of anywhere from 1 day to 1 week. The best way to make a carved pumpkin last longer is to slow down the dehydration process and deter the onset of mold. When pumpkins shrivel up, it is because they have lost moisture. You can sometimes restore them back to their original condition by soaking them in water overnight. We have found a spray-on preserver called Pumpkin Fresh. It is a low cost, an environmentally friendly product that deters mold growth, rot and bugs.
Just spray the inside and cut parts and let dry. It really does work and we use it on all of our displays! We have all of your carving needs covered with carving kits, tools, stencils and more. We also carry stickers and transfers for the kids ! We love seeing our customers smile when they find their " PERFECT PUMPKIN " !
BASIC CARVING INSTRUCTIONS
Plan the face or picture you want to carve.
Pick the perfect pumpkin to match the design here at Phelps Nursery Trace your design on the pumpkin using a pencil.
Cut out the top around the stem. Cut at an angle so that the lid and hole are cone-shaped, this will prevent the lid from falling into the hole. You can also cut out the bottom instead.
Scoop out the loose seeds and flesh with the scoop provided in the carving kit. Be sure to scoop the bottom flat so that your candle will sit level.
Carve the design. Use the poker in the carving kit to poke small holes around the lines you drew for the design. Then use the small serrated knife to cut all the way through the rind. Push out the pieces from the inside and then carve away any rough edges.
Spray the entire inside and any cut edges with Pumpkin Fresh. Don’t forget to spray the lid also.
Add the light and smile at your creation! Clear strings of Christmas lights can be used as well as battery-operated pumpkin lights. The traditional votive candle works best. Place the candle in a glass votive holder as it is safer and makes the candle last longer. Plain white votive candles actually illuminate the inside of your Jack O Lantern the best.
Check out our FACEBOOK PAGE for tons of carving and display ideas.
PUMPKIN BURIAL TRADITION
The day after Halloween usually marks the death of most Jack O Lanterns. Like any corpse, they begin to decay, draw flies, smell and rot very quickly if you have not used a preserver. It seems so heartless, cruel and undignified to simply toss them into a bag to be hauled off with the trash! One solution to this regrettable situation is to create a new family tradition and provide them with a proper burial. In a small patch of earth in your backyard, dig a grave for your faithful pumpkins! After placing them on the earth and covering them, give a short eulogy to show your appreciation and respect. The Great Pumpkin will be impressed!
A SIMPLE EULOGY
We are gathered here to pay homage to our dearly departed Jack O Lanterns Throughout their short lives our Halloween pumpkins have brought us and our Trick Or Treaters much joy.
We now consign them to the earth from where they first came.
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE