Ornamental pumpkins, squashes and gourds:
October 3rd, 2008
Here it is, already October 3rd and Halloween is upon us. Thanksgiving will soon follow.
I’m the type of mom who has always been grateful (relieved?) when the college-aged nanny offered to take my boys costume-shopping. That’s because I subscribe to the “use what’s available; look for stuff in the garage, sewing room, or attic,” school of Halloween costume-making. None of this molded rubber mask or fire-hazard printed-on-acetate superman kind of stuff. But my boys, on the other hand think a brand-new costume is de rigeur.
The organic, agricultural Halloween appeals to me. You know, the old-fashioned fall celebration that gets its thrills from a full moon rather than a mountain of Mars bars. Oh, for those cellophane-wrapped caramel apples of our youth (remember the ones we were warned might have razor blades in them, back in the 1970s?). Yup, those very ones.
In search of awesome produce for the fall holidays, I drove over the hill this afternoon into Simi Valley to visit Underwood Family Farms. An organic, U-pick farm, Underwood is a refreshing haven just a mile beyond fast-food row (What can I say? We do live in the suburbs).
I wanted to scout out cool, fashionable vegetables, worthy of centerpieces and front porches, for an upcoming November story called “Thanksgiving, A to Z.”
The piece will appear in my local glossy, 805 Living (805 being our area code here in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties). I originally proposed to write about “P” for pumpkins, but somehow the assignment came through and it’s now morphed into: “U” – for “unusual or unique fall decor.” U or P – it doesn’t matter. These fall crops are gorgeous just the same.
For the second year in a row, I found some pretty cool vegetables, all grown in local fields, just-picked to adorn my front porch and later be cut up for roasting in the oven. Hubbard squash, Cinderella pumpkins, Banana squash, Ghost pumpkins, Everyday orange pumpkins, Winter squash and more (all for 59-cents to 89-cents per pound) Here are a few favorite images from my visit: