Monday, October 7, 2013

Advice for Preserving Your Pumpkins

As promised yesterday, I have a bit of easy advice that will help preserve your pumpkins longer and protect them from various outdoor elements. This simple-but-effective tip is one I put to good use every fall. My mother learned about this from an old country farmer one year when she went to the Farmer's Market to buy her pumpkins and mums. He was kind enough to share a bit of wisdom with her; she passed his advice along to me; and now I am happy to share it with you!

The only things you need are bleach and water! (And your pumpkins, of course...)
Follow this formula: 1 cup of bleach + 3 cups of water.
Mix the water and bleach together. Then place your pumpkin in the solution. You will want to wear rubber gloves while you wash the pumpkins since you are using a high-bleach solution. Also, be careful to use only an old cloth or brush for cleaning and old towels for drying, just in case any drops of bleach splash or spill.

You do not have to soak the pumpkins; simply use a cloth or brush to wash them gently in the bleach and water solution.
Place your fresh-washed pumpkins on an old towel to dry.
If you really want to take it one step further to add additional shine and resilience to those pumpkins, use a clear-coat spray sealer to lightly coat the outside of the pumpkins. Pay close attention to the bottoms of the pumpkins for extra prevention against bacteria growth or mold.

This step doesn't even have to be done immediately after washing; you can do it at any point. I waited a day after washing my pumpkins because we were experiencing high humidity outside, and I wanted the weather to be optimal for the sealer to dry well. Either way, it will add a nice shine to your pumpkins and help them last longer.