Wondering what you can do this coming weekend? Don't worry, I'll be here to help! With Fall being such a beautiful season with lots and lots of activities to choose from, this is also the perfect time to pick up some pumpkins and apples. Last time, we did talk about apple picking, and so today I'll be sharing some tips on how to pick the right pumpkin along with my personal top five pumpkin patches in the DMV area.
Healthy Skin means Healthy Pumpkin
When picking your pumpkin, always make sure that it's firm with a healthy skin. The skin should have a leathery feel to it. If you'd like to see how firm a pumpkin is, you can do the fingernail test. Try poking the pumpkin with your fingernail -- if it springs right back or doesn't give at all, then you know it's the fresh one.
In addition, don't forget to check for bruises or wounds around the pumpkin. Just like the human skin, if a pumpkin has wounds, it'll be the gateway for the infection to come inside the pumpkin which will make it rot much sooner.
Green means Go
Make sure to look for pumpkins that have green stems. This is also an indication of the pumpkin's freshness. Green means it's at its peak, meanwhile, brownish or yellowish stems indicate that the pumpkin is either not yet ready or way past its peak.
How Does it Sound?
Another test that you can do to a watermelon is by tapping it and hear how it sounds. Hold the pumpkin on one hand and place your ear next to it, and tap it on the other side. If it sounds deep and hollow, then you're sure that you have a good pumpkin. This works with watermelons, too!
Handle with Care
Once you selected your pumpkin, always make sure to grab the pumpkin at the bottom of it by the arm, and not at its stem. This doesn't only risk you dropping the pumpkin and breaking it, but also making the water from the pumpkin to dry out, squeezing it through the stem. Think of the pumpkin as a baby -- handle the precious pumpkin with care. I mean, you wouldn't be dropping a baby anytime soon, right?
Make sure to keep your whole pumpkins in a cool, dry place. If you cut the pumpkin, it should still be good in the next five days, but make sure to wrap it tightly and refrigerate it within the said timeframe. You can also puree or cube whatever's left over, and freeze it for later.
With the crash course for picking the right pumpkin done, here's where you can get the best pumpkins in the DMV Area:
1. Cox Farms
This family-owned farm in Centreville, VA offers a petting zoo, its own market, and of course, the most amazing horror-themed corn maze. Halloween is fast approaching, so this should give you the feels early on and get ready for the jumps and scares later! Not only that, but their ongoing Fall Festival for the last week of September and the whole month of October, and tickets are available online.
The beloved farm from Bluemont, VA makes a comeback to our list as it is also included in our top 5 apple picking areas as well. Pumpkins are also being offered and available for picking in this farm, and of course, the amazing play areas and wagon rides it offers for the whole family to enjoy.
The Loudoun County offers such a magnificent farm adn recreational park by the form of the Temple Hall farm in Leesburg, VA. Here people can visit and pick their coveted pumpkins in the popular Temple Hall Pumpkin Patch and get the real farming experience. They also have a hiking trail, offers a horse ride to the equestrian trails, which include water crossings and natural jumps.
4. MD Corn Maze
Do you love mazes and puzzles? Well, this is the best place for you. The Maryland Corn Maze in Gambrills, MD takes pride to its 8 acre corn maze that you might as well get lost to the wonders of this place. Aside from picking your favorite pumpkins, a lot of activities await in this place, including an open flat bouncepad, a hand-on petting zoo, hayrides, farm flyer ziplines, "cow" milking, and so much more. Seriously, the list goes on like there's no tomorrow. Get your tickets here and don't miss the fun!
What better way of celebrating the fall season but by visiting the Butler's Orchard, getting some pumpkins along the way, and of course, a daytime campfire festival. Enjoy being one with nature and sharing the experience with your family by rounding to a campfire together, burning marshmallows and hot dogs, sharing all sorts of stories, and bonding together after a long day of pumpkin picking at the patch.
Did you enjoy our list? Leave us a like for more content like this. What other activities do you think we should cover for the following weeks this fall? Let us know in the comments down below!