Hard to believe the fall season has arrived; and with it brings warm apple cider, colorful autumn leaves, hayrides, pumpkins2apple pies, smoky bonfires, leaf piles, and PUMPKINS!

You’ll know it when you see it…the perfect pumpkin for carving your jack-o-lantern!   Have you ever watched a family pick out their pumpkin?  It’s quite a deliberated process!   There are countless of locations to find pumpkins; but why not make it a memorable experience and take your family to a local farm, a pumpkin patch, or a fall festival?

If you’re specifically looking for a carving pumpkin, here are a few things to keep in mind, courtesy of allaboutpumpkins.com:

•    Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size.
•    Choose a pumpkin that has consistent coloring throughout.
•    Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs.  If it flexes or gives your pumpkin is not fresh.
•    Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage.
•    Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem.
•    A green stem indicates a freshly harvested pumpkin.
•    Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to check to see if it will sit flat after being carved.

Once you’ve chosen a location to find your perfect pumpkin, call ahead and ask a few questions.  When is the best time to come?  Do they accept cash or credit?  If visiting an actual pumpkin patch, do you need to bring your own knife or pruner?  And if you’re planning on getting a few pumpkins, consider bringing a wagon along – easier to haul pumpkins and tired kids!

Enjoy all of the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful season!