Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Make a Jack-o-Lantern

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1996. All rights reserved.

First, you start with a pumpkin seed, but not just any pumpkin. Seek out seeds of a Halloween or Jack-o'-Lantern or Spookie variety. You want a pumpkin that matures to the size and shape of your own head.
Sow your seed just before the last frost in mounds of soil and manure. And as you plant, reflect on how deeply the roots of pumpkins sink into history. Native to the Americas, pumpkins fed Indian tribes before Columbus landed and gave white settlers in frontier cabins sustenance through cold, dark winters.

Grow pumpkin vines in full sun with plenty of water. When they sprout small pumpkins, pinch off the tips of the vines. When the pumpkins are six inches across, pick all but one pumpkin per vine.

Turn your pumpkins gently in their final weeks of growth so they don't grow flat on one side. If one becomes your favorite, reflecting in its ribbed surface something inside your soul, scratch your name or initials in its skin.

Continued at... How to Make a Jack-o-Lantern.

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Artwork: Jack-o-lantern