MARQUETTE — Just the right pumpkin, that special costume and lots of candy make Halloween a Boo–tastic holiday.

By the hundreds, pumpkins have invaded the U.P. But what makes a perfect pumpkin? Heavy? tall? skinny? or maybe a fat one is best?

“The more surface area you have the easier it is to work with your pumpkin. Making sure there are no soft spots and also if a pumpkin does not sit flat does not mean that it is not the right pumpkin. You can always carve the bottom of the pumpkin. If there are a lot of soft spots around the stem, it may mean it has frost damage” said Susan Brian, Farmer Q’s Market.

But depending on what your carving plans are, that imperfect pumpkin may be the perfect pumpkin to pick.

Now if you are looking to make a pumpkin pie with your pumpkin there is a special pumpkin for that. Pie pumpkins are known as sugar pumpkins and are a lot smaller.

“Usually the are about 6–12 inches in diameter, they are a sweeter pumpkin and they have more flesh and less seeds in the middle,” continues Brian.

You don’t want to grab a pumpkin solely by it’s stem, but from the bottom as well. Also while many carve around the stem of a pumpkin, there are other options.

Brian adds, “What I recommend is to cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin, it is really easy to get the seeds out and you keep the stem on, so that when it is lit, the oxygen gets in and out so your candle does not go out.”

Now once you have made all the pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup, what’s next?

“Because of all the vitamins in the pumpkins, it will help generate your compost pile better than other types of vegetables and fruit,” adds Brian.

Left over pumpkins can be left out in the woods as they are great for feeding and attracting deer.

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