Maryland farmer explains how to find the perfect pumpkin

With lots of sunshine and weather that only has a bit of a chill, this weekend could be the perfect time to pick a Halloween pumpkin.

And if you like going to a pumpkin patch near your house, you’re sure to find lots of pumpkins to choose. So how do you know if you’ve found the best one?

Well for one, size and color don’t matter at all.

“There’s so many different varieties of pumpkins,” said Adrianne Dunn, who owns Montpelier Farm in Upper Marlboro. “If you look into the field, we’ve got white pumpkins and there are different shaped pumpkins.”

So if one pumpkin is more orange than the other, “it could be a different variety,” she said.

Instead she said to look at the top of the pumpkin.

“The stem can tell you a whole lot about a pumpkin,” said Dunn, who offered this advice: look to see if it’s “really nice and it’s turned a little bit, there’s at least a stem on it. Sometimes you can see that if the stem is real cracked or there isn’t much of a stem at all, you might not be getting the best pumpkin.”

“The stem is kind of your telltale,” she said.

Just don’t buy it too soon though.

“The sooner in the season that you pick it … it would have a tendency to rot a little bit earlier,” Dunn said. “Picking a pumpkin a little bit later — closer to Halloween — and then carving it closer to Halloween would be your best bet.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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