An Heirloom Pumpkin Primer

Growing up, every year we would take a trip to Yeager’s Farm and ride the hay wagon to the pumpkin patch, and pick out a pumpkin.  There was typically only one variety to choose from (that I remember).  But it wasn’t just there, anywhere you went, choices were limited to the typical round, orange pumpkin.  The only choices you had were between how long or short you wanted the stem, and if you wanted a short, round squashed looking pumpkin, or something more oblong, tall and skinny.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

That all changed a few years ago when I stumbled across the pumpkin selection at a small, family run farm in Virginia.  I talk about them a lot, but only because we love them, and want them to have a great business.  Miller Farms Market.

I was blown away by the variety.  So many colors, shapes, sizes, and crazy things!  I am actually hoping to interview Jo at the farm, and put together something more substantial than one blog post about pumpkins.  Namely, I want to show you what options there are.  Check with your local farmers or grow your own!

First up, the Cinderella Pumpkin.

Cinderella Pumpkin

Cinderella Pumpkin

These are large, fun pumpkins that are a french heirloom variety.  Supposedly, the pilgrims planted and used these in the First Thanksgiving.  Also, they are delicious.  Nearly all the pumpkins they grow here are also great to use in recipes!

The Fairytale Pumpkin

Fairytale Pumpkin

Fairytale Pumpkin

Fairytale pumpkins are actually shaped very similarly to the Cinderella pumpkins, but are mostly green with some yellow variations.  They are nice and wide, and sort of flat on top, great for stacking.

Pumpkins on a bench display at Miller Farms.

Pumpkins on a bench display at Miller Farms.

The Ghost Rider Pumpkin

Ghost Rider Pumpkin

Ghost Rider Pumpkin

I may actually be wrong about the identity of this pumpkin, I need to check with the Millers.  But these are more like the typical carving pumpkins you see everywhere.  However, all of these seem to be the perfect size and shape, and have those wonderfully dark handles.

The Blue Hubbard

Blue Hubbard

Blue Hubbard

Blue Hubbard is actually a squash, and is an old tradition in New England.  I used mine a few years ago to make an alien head- they are shaped quite nicely!

Alien Pumpkin Head

Alien Pumpkin Head

Orange Hubbard

Orange Hubbard

Orange Hubbard

The Miller’s are growing these for the first time this year, and are supposed to be another delicious squash.

Jarrahdale Pumpkins

Jarrahdale

Jarrahdale

These pumpkins have a wonderful light greenish-gray color.  They are deeply ribbed and really great for cooking.

Long Island Cheese

Long Island Cheese

Long Island Cheese

The Long Island Cheese pumpkin is so named for it’s shape, size, and color.  It looks like a giant wheel of buttery cheese.  These are great to use in pumpkin pies, and we just bought one to make a pie from scratch!

Lumina

Lumina

Lumina

The Lumina pumpkin is a very pretty, white pumpkin that is also very tasty.  These look great carved, with a bright orange flesh inside.

Little Pumpkins

Pumpkemon, Baby Boo, and Munchkin

Pumpkemon, Baby Boo, and Munchkin

There are three varieties pictured here, Pumpkemon is the larger, green and white gourd.  The small white pumpkin is a Baby Boo.  The smallest is a Munchkin, but they also can grow to the same size as the others.  I brought these three little guys home with me.  They are so cute!

Display Shelves at Miller Farms Market

Display Shelves at Miller Farms Market

They have so many other fun decorative, harvest elements at Miller Farms.  Dried corn stalks, indian corn, grapevines, Osage oranges, and all sorts of gourds.  We went there today for the Taste of the Farm event.  Local farmers, crafters, bakers, cheese makers, creameries, and more were there to hand out tons of yummy free samples.  Jo Miller also demonstrated how to cook and prepare a pumpkin to use the flesh in recipes.

Indian Corn

Indian Corn

This place is really neat to visit.  All the pictures (except the carved alien head and mini-pumpkins) were taken at Miller Farms by me.  I am not sponsored or anything by them, I just want them to succeed so that I can keep going back to buy fresh milk, fresh vegetables, and fun gifts.

Raised garden beds at Miller Farms

Raised garden beds at Miller Farms

Support your local farms and communities!

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the heirloom primer. I attempted to grow all heirlooms in my garden (though not enough space for pumpkins) this year. Some turned out great and some… meh. This makes me want to till up a spot in the back just to grow the Cinderella and Long Island Cheese for next years fall decorations. Beautiful!

    • The Lucky Lass :

      Thanks Brianna! I am fascinated by heirloom pumpkins and I think it’s awesome that you are (trying?) to grow them!

Speak Your Mind

*