Some tricks for picking the best pumpkin this year. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
With so many pumpkin varieties and characteristics, it’s hard to tell which pumpkin is the best bang for your buck. You could just grab whatever’s at the grocery store, but you’ll get a fresher and more interesting selection at a pumpkin farm. Just like when buying other produce, there are a few things to keep in mind as you pick your jack-o-lantern. Go for Green Stems. This part of the pumpkin can give you some big clues about the freshness of the fruit. Look for a firm, dark green stem and avoid those that look brownish, mushy, or dried out. A cut stem acts like a wick that seeps water from the inside of the pumpkin, leading quickly to shriveling.
Just like watermelons, the best pumpkins to pick have a deep, hollow sound when you tap them. To test for a good one, hold the pumpkin with one hand, place your ear next to the pumpkin, and knock on its side with the knuckles of your other hand. Also check for firmness. When pumpkins are ready to harvest, their skin turns leathery and firm. Don’t ignore wounds. Pumpkin skin acts a lot like human skin when it gets cut or scraped; those wounds are prone to infection.
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