Whether you are carving a jack-o-lantern grin, roasting the seeds or sipping it in your latte, pumpkin season has arrived for all of us to enjoy. According to the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service and initial reports, farmers in Illinois and California, the two largest pumpkin-producing states, are harvesting healthy crops. To find a Utah pumpkin patch near you, click HERE.
And thank you to our friend Nick Volesky at USU Extension, who provide some great information on how to keep your carved pumpkins from turning into "a fungal fiasco". Look these over before you start carving!
Ask an Expert – Prevent Your Carved Creation from Becoming a Fungal Fiasco
Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is an art form that comes in all shapes, sizes and levels of difficulty. The final product (usually) makes the pumpkin carvers proud and anxious to display their work. However, often just a few days later, the pumpkin creation may start to wither and rot, and eventually, mold will take over. Why does this happen?
When you carve a pumpkin, it exposes the insides, making it more susceptible to infection through air flow. The environment (temperature, sunlight, etc.) can also be a factor in the pumpkin’s quality.
Molds are a fungal micro-organism that have the potential to live everywhere. These fungi release tiny, lightweight spores that allow them to travel through the air. They can then infect and cause carved pumpkins to shrivel, soften and start to grow fuzzy, grey mold. Some common interior molds include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria.
Consider these methods to help preserve your carved pumpkin:
Watch the video below for more tips on pumpkin preservation: