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From ghostly white to vibrant orange, pumpkins popping up around town is the surest sign that fall is here. But if your only brush with the fruit (yes, technically it’s a fruit) is plopping one on your front step just before the trick-or-treaters arrive, you are missing out on its diverse uses.
Prepare to get a little muddy this year and pick your own pumpkin, or check out pumpkin-inspired products from around Columbus that go far beyond your favorite latte flavor. We’ve even got some fall decorating tips to help turn your home into a cozy, autumnal oasis.
Dress 'em up
Seasonal decorations are nothing to be afraid of. They don’t have to be limited to cauldrons and ghosts to be festive, said Susan Brook, of Susan Brook Interiors in Columbus. Embrace the beauty of nature to adopt a more sophisticated flair with these easy tips.
Carve 'em out
Carving your family’s annual jack-o’-lanterns can prove a tricky proposition. Turn it into a delightful treat with these handy tips from pumpkinmasters.com:
Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Balsamic Vinegar
A Thyme for All Seasonings, 2360 N. National Road,379-1131
Toss this nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon-laced vinegar with diced butternut squash, olive oil, sea salt and pepper and roast for a savory snack or side dish.
Southern Tier Pumking Ale
Powerhouse Brewing Co., 322 Fourth St., 375-8800
Toast the fall season with this malty, whose sweet pumpkin and cinnamon scent will hit you even before the creamy, spicy fall flavors do.
Pumpkin Butter Spread
Zaharako’s Ice Cream Parlor, 329 Washington St.,378-1900
Slather this earthy spread, made in Bloomington especially for Zaharako’s, on everything from your breakfast biscuits and toast to dinner rolls and quick breads.
When selecting the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o’-lantern, why not go straight to the source and harvest your own?
During the month of October, two area farms will let you do just that.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes you won’t mind getting dirty, cautions Chuck Newkirk of Newkirk Farm. Look for pumpkins with a strong, sturdy stem, he said.
“The beauty of visiting a pumpkin patch is you’re able to literally pick the one that best suits your needs, including size, shape and color,” he said.
Check out these pick-your-own pumpkin patches:
Harper Valley Family Farm
Address: 13094 S. County Road 600W, Westport
Hours: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Pumpkins cost $3 each
Address: 3392 E. 1050N, Seymour
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Cost: Pumpkins cost $3 each
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