By Charley Lollis
Bippity, Boppity, Boo! Did you know the term pumpkin was first written in the fairy tale Cinderella? Hundreds of years later and this winter squash is still a staple item for many! Pumpkins are no longer just a fruit but a signature scent, decoration, and a must-have for all things Halloween.
Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the United States each year. Though our warmer weather hinders Georgia from being a leader in pumpkin production, hundreds of acres are still spread across rural Georgia designated just for pumpkins. Most of these pumpkins are sold at roadside stands or local farmer’s markets.
This fall, there are many ways you can incorporate pumpkins into your home. Pumpkins lend themselves well to outside decorations and pair great with fresh mums. If a bright orange does not flow with your home decor, look into different varieties of pumpkins such as tan or blue ones.
If you want your pumpkins to become a little more personalized, plan a family pumpkin carving date. Just make sure you have plenty of trash bags to get rid of the sticky pulp inside the pumpkin or save it to pick out the seeds and have some roasted pumpkin seeds on into the fall. If you don’t want to fool with the pumpkin's insides, you can always turn it into painting pumpkins instead. Either way will make for a great family fun night.
Pumpkins don’t only serve as beautiful decorations but as a great source of Vitamin A. This nutrient-dense fruit has more protein than a banana. Adding pumpkin to a recipe will help you and your family achieve that warm feeling of fall with added nutrients. So, make sure you are adding more pumpkin to your diet than just a pumpkin spice latte!
As you get ready to decorate, bake, or carve pumpkins this fall, make sure they are Georgia Grown! Below is a list of rural Georgia pumpkin patches that will have an excellent selection for all your pumpkin needs.
Pumpkin Patches in rural Georgia:
Georgia Museum of Agriculture - Tift County
Our Cotton Pickin' Pumpkin Patch - Pulaski County
Mark's Melon Patch - Terrell County
Burt's Pumpkin Farm - Dawson County
Poppell Farms - Wayne County
Old Freeman Family Farm - Screven County
The Red Apple Barn - Gilmer County
Hillside Nursery - Habersham County
Red Brick Farm - Coffee County
Sunny Day Farms - Jefferson County