It’s a Great Pumpkin!

Those beautiful orange berries we all know as pumpkins are abundant this time of year and there are many sizes, shapes, and colors to choose. After the perfect pumpkin has been selected, some helpful tips are needed to ensure its stay in your home. Neighborhood squirrels will be delighted to share the bounty you have placed on your front porch, and they won’t even ask! The seeds are the most desired part and they will eat through the pumpkin flesh to retrieve this tasty treat. If your pumpkin is not slated for the carving block, you will need to apply a repellant to the pumpkin skin to ward off the rodents. Over the counter rabbit/deer repellents contain ingredients which are highly odoriferous and distasteful (i.e. rotten eggs, garlic, pepper oil) to these animals. Hot pepper juice or pepper flakes spread on or around the pumpkin are effective to use. The mechanical method, bringing in each night, is also an option. If you choose to carve your great pumpkin, there are a few tips to make the project easier.
A sharp, sturdy tool such as a fillet knife will allow you to cut and carve difficult angles.
An ice cream scooper works well at removing all the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin.
A dry-erase marker for drawing details and mapping out features is better than using a Sharpie. Dry-erase marker mistakes can be erased easily. If you accidentally use a Sharpie, you will need rubbing alcohol to remove the marks.
A Bathroom cleaner product which contains bleach is used to spray the inside and outside of the pumpkin. This keeps critters and mold at bay and prolongs the life by about 10 days (outside in cold climates – and 4 days in warmer climates). If you have cats or dogs it’s best to skip this step.
Instead of cutting a lid from the top of the pumpkin, turn it over (where the flesh is more tender) and easier to cut. Consider using a glow stick or battery powered votive candle in place of an open flame candle.
With these helpful tips your Great Pumpkin will be the best of the season!