After spending a ton of money on heirloom, organic pumpkins this year, I’ve decided to eat them.
Let me rewind.
I’m often asked to decorate my landscape client’s homes with pumpkins – about a million years ago I started my botany career as a farmer and I’m still tight with the local, old-school farmers in Half Moon Bay. I know exactly how hard it is to grow pumpkins, because I’ve grown them for years (and subsequently, fought numerous battles with gophers and beetles). It’s rare to find a farmer who grows organically, with interesting seed and who spends time caring for the land. A lot of the places in town sell pumpkins they buy from the Sacramento valley – pumpkins that are pumped full of pesticides and driven here in bulk. Why should we care? Because shopping that way ultimately eliminates the smaller family-farmers, as well as takes money away from small towns. Not to mention the health benefits you don’t get when you eat mass produced food like that.
So when I spend $30. on a big, gorgeous heirloom organic pumpkin – I appreciate the price, since it’s completely indicative of a farmer who is growing quality produce. Plus, it’s duel purpose – you get to make your front porch cute and you get to eat it afterwards.
This year, I’ve made pumpkin curry, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pies. The pies are my favorite (and the most high-calorie, of course!) since they are so easy to make! I actually just stuck one of the pumpkins in the oven whole! And this type of pumpkin isn’t even the best for making pies (like Sugar Pie pumpkins are) but it ended up working out perfectly – even producing enough for 5 pies! 5!
So after the turkey has been carved and the last bottle of wine as been drunk, don’t rush to toss the pumpkins in the green waste bin this year. Try finding one that isn’t damaged or rotting and cook it up. Within a few days you’ll be sick of turkey anyway, you’ll need something new and nutrient-rich to ease you out of the inevitable holiday food coma.