When my son, Tom, and his wife, Lisa, and daughters invited me on their annual pumpkin hunt, I was ready. I’ve been to several of the local farms with them, but this year we were going to Relleke’s Pumpkin Patch in Granite City, Illinois.
It was a bit soft under foot from rain the previous day, so the farm was supposed to be closed on Saturday. But the owners received a number of calls urging them to re-open the patch and they did.
I was happy to select my few decorative gourds from a bin of hundreds, but my granddaughters stomped through the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin still clinging to the vine. They may have found it; at least, they had fun trying. These pictures speak for themselves.
We used to enjoy pumpkins only as jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween and as pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Fast forward into a new century. Today we have pumpkin ale, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin Pop Tarts, and, my favorite, Ted Drew’s pumpkin pie custard.
Our pumpkins range from Pygmy Pumps, less than a half inch in diameter, to some that require a farm wagon to move. Pumpkins are not just orange anymore; they come in pink, tan, red, green, white, yellow, blue-gray, and with strips and warts!
Whatever their size, shape or color, pumpkins romanticize rural life. Whether we’re arranging them for decorations or using a canned version for cooking, they connect us with earlier times.
Where will I be on Halloween? Hanging out with some of my ghoul friends.