For me, there is no greater symbol of fall than the pumpkin. When my son was younger, I would always sign up to accompany his classes on their annual field trips to the pumpkin patch. There we would learn about the many varieties of pumpkins, sample a pumpkin treat and, finally, go on a short, bumpy hayride to the field itself. The ground would be muddy, but we would clamor excitedly out of the wagon to select our own pumpkins, paying little attention to the farmer’s instructions to “pick only what you can carry!”
Some of the children would quickly choose a small one and then turn their attention to the horse or tractor that brought us out to the patch. Others would go straight for the largest they could spot and then inevitably cry out for assistance, much to the chagrin of the teacher and the other parents. Quick to shirk my duties as a chaperone, I would set off on an exhaustive search for “the perfect pumpkin”; one worthy of gracing the centre of our dining room table (until it inevitably met its fate on Halloween).
These days, my love of all things pumpkin has grown into a bit of a fall obsession. Not content with a single pumpkin as a table centerpiece, I fill each room in the house with items that remind me of the sight, smell and taste of my favourite squash. These tiny felted bowls in shades of brown and pumpkin orange (above) would look right at home in in any room of the house; acting as both decoration and handy catch-all for all sorts of small items. Sharon, of The Fuzzy Monkey creates each of her soft, fuzzy vessels from 100% wool and embellishes many of them with Eco-fi felt shapes and cotton embroidery floss.
It’s hard to imagine taking a pumpkin into the bath, but you can take this amazing Limited Edition Pumpkin Queen Sugar Crème in with you. Real pumpkin powder is combined with organic sugar and a buttery blend of emollients to create a body exfoliant like no other. It will leave your skin soft, nourished and scented with the delicious, spicy aromas of fall. Get your autumn glow at the Haus of Gloi Etsy shop. All ingredients used by the Haus of Gloi are vegan, cruelty free and, when possible, locally sourced from their home-base in Oregon.
Much like the pumpkins in the patch, the pumpkin appliqué on this tote (below) by Etsy seller Green Jeans by Pinkilicious bursts with colour against a somber background. Upcycled pants and a necktie in shades of dark green provide the backdrop for a bright, cheery pumpkin pieced together from fabric culled from leftovers, scraps and thrift store finds. This is the perfect tote for fall outings…to the pumpkin patch or otherwise!
And, while you’re packing your tote for an autumnal adventure, keep in mind that fresh air and falling leaves never fail to stimulate the appetite. Be sure to include a package of Pumpkin Spice Delights from the artisan bakers at The Hot Cookie. Baked in small batches with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients, Sarah and Karli’s cookie-of-the-month for October is a delicious and wholesome treat. The pumpkin spice dough, combined with its Korintje cinnamon and sugar topping, bakes into a light, fluffy cookie reminiscent of pumpkin cake. Yum!
I no longer have the opportunity to chaperone class visits to the pumpkin patch, but that doesn’t stop me from heading out to the field to choose my own pumpkin (or three). Visits to pumpkin farms are not only a fun activity for the whole family, they are a great way to support your local growers! To find a pumpkin patch in your area, visit Pumpkin Patches and More. The site lists pumpkin patches, hayrides and corn mazes throughout the US and Canada, organized by state or province. If you visit a pumpkin farm this season, please feel free to comment and share your experience here.