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.
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.
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 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.
The 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 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!
The Miller’s are growing these for the first time this year, and are supposed to be another delicious squash.
These pumpkins have a wonderful light greenish-gray color. They are deeply ribbed and really great for cooking.
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!
The Lumina pumpkin is a very pretty, white pumpkin that is also very tasty. These look great carved, with a bright orange flesh inside.
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!
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.
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.
Support your local farms and communities!