Harvesting a Market Friday


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It's official: Fall is definitely here. The corn maze is back, pumpkin patches have popped up all over and leaves have already colored my world, in a most delightful way. My family and I went to get a pumpkin or two for the porch, which we will leave uncarved until the night of Halloween. What is Halloween you ask? Halloween used to be described as "the night before All Saints' Day" which is also called Hallowmas or All Hallows' Day. This is what we learned growing up, and somehow it migrated to a spooky, scary day of ghosts and goblins - right before my very eyes.

For your pumpkin: uncarved pumpkins generally last two to three months if they aren't displayed in the hot sun and it isn't freezing in your time zone. Carved pumpkins almost never last more than a few days, so don't carve them until right before Halloween.

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Today is #MarketFriday initiated by @dswigle (Denise, that's me!!) Join me as we share our markets across the globe. I always look forward to seeing what you send me! It is amazing to see the different markets and cultures of our friends here on Hive.


I went to my favorite garden center. Normally, I go to the Farmers Market or right to the farm. This year, the goods were sparse and I was getting only a couple of pumpkins. I wanted to check and see if they put any of the perennial flowers I wanted on clearance, but, I will save you the trouble... they didn't discount them yet!

Merrifield Garden Center
8132 Lee Highway,
Falls Church, VA 22042
703-560-6222

Store Hours
Sunday: 8 am – 6 pm
Monday – Saturday: 8 am – 7 pm


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This understated variety has pale orange-colored skin, a slightly oval shape, and a strong stem. I really like them, despite their pale color, but, couldn't identify them anywhere. Has anyone seen this pumpkin before?


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When I was a child, the appearance of winter squash epitomized autumn: squash, pumpkins, and gourds. Glorious winter squash! Acorn squash, butternut squash, hubbard squash, spaghetti squash, cheese pumpkin, delicata squash, kabocha squash. Winter squash has an easy way of checking if they are ripe or not. The stem should be dry and fibrous-looking. (see below) If it is green and has sap leaking from the stem, it was picked before its time.


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I was searching for a few harvest pumpkins and gourds because I had noticed them being picked by the local farmers over the weekend. Pumpkins are in abundance, but, the closer we get to the Harvest Festivals and Halloween, the faster they will go. Not long ago, they were still in fields, curing. Curing mean they are still ripening, getting ready for harvesting. The pumpkins are harvested when the color is uniform and the rind is hard. The farmers watch the weather for the nighttime lows now, although here in our area, we have been still having summer weather. The nights have become cool, but, not cold. But, all it takes is one hard frost to kill the vine. The pumpkins should be picked before that frost occurs. Once the vine dies, the fruit will no longer mature. We haven't had anything close to frost. The pumpkins are a little dirty from the field, but, I promise you, they will be clean and pretty before they are sold!


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Miles of pumpkins to choose from. I love pumpkins for their seeds, so I pick a nice heavy one... On average, a medium-sized pumpkin will usually have about 1 cup of seeds that can be salted then, dried and roasted. It is my favorite part of the pumpkin. Have you ever roasted your own seeds? Do you like them? Let's see a show of hands!


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STOP!! BRAIN TEASER AHEAD!!


Question:Last week, I went to market with a whole crop of pumpkins that I had grown in my pumpkin patch. I sold half of them plus half a pumpkin and found that I had one whole pumpkin left. How many pumpkins did I take to market?

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Answer! Can you guess??? As a novice farmer, my first crop wasn't anything to go by!! I took three pumpkins to market.

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I love flowers, it's no secret. I like to add a touch more Autumn to my house with the added color of Chrysanthemums. There is #alwaysaflower in my life to color my world. Truly the scent of Autumn! I had no idea that they were actually native to Asia and Northeastern Europe. I believe most species of them originate from East Asia, but the true center is in China, being the center of diversity. When I thought about it for a while, I realized that there is much art depicting Chrysanthemums in Asian art.


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In Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and the flower of the ninth moon. People even drank chrysanthemum wine on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month to prolong their lives during the Han dynasty. It is a symbol of longevity because of its health-giving properties.

Like the cherry blossom, the chrysanthemum, called “kiku” in Japanese, symbolizes the season, but more than that, it's a symbol of the country itself. ... The monarchy is referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne and the imperial crest is a stylized mum blossom. source


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There are various sizes of pumpkins, gourds, and squash. These little mini pumpkins are $2.50 each, which is quite expensive if you are paying by the pound, but, I do believe you are paying for their cuteness. You know you just can't put a price on that!


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Gourds are purely ornamental. They are not edible and their shell is hard and their interior is basically empty. They make a festive collection put together. I love the different kinds there are. I am not sure how many varieties they actually have. The more artistic people hollow them out and shells and pieces of metal can be used to make them into musical instruments. They can be burned, carved, and made into pieces of jewelry. I actually just decorate with them most times. Below are a couple of gourds, some pumpkins, and even squash or two. I am an equal opportunity looker. That, and my gourd picture didn't come out really well.


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Indian corn! It was a tradition in my house, growing up. All good New Englanders put the dried corn on their doors when Autumn arrived. It is one of the oldest varieties of heirloom corn, and, rumor has it that Native Americans taught the colonist how to grow it. So, if you cross paths with a Native American, don't forget to thank them. While searching online to get the price of the corn, as I forgot to look, I saw that you can buy seeds for this corn, it had all different colors and mixtures of colors. ! It was beautiful and now I want to grow some next year!(Non-GMO seeds)


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Rules of the Road

  1. Go to the market, or anywhere that you pay money for a service.
    Take pictures! Be creative!
  2. Tell us a little bit about the market or the event. What brought you there? What did you buy? How much did it cost?
  3. Post the picture(s) Of course, you should tell a little bit about the ones you post
  4. Use the MarketFriday Community Platform to post #hive-196308 (this is not required, but appreciated)
  5. Drop the link into the MarketFriday comment section so I can find it
  6. Following me and reblogging the post so more see it would be appreciated !! Not a rule, just appreciated, more vision for more views on your posts!
  7. You must put #MarketFriday by @dswigle somewhere on your post. If you don't and someone reads it, there is nothing to tie #MarketFriday to that post.
  8. Please only one post each week. Believe it not, I run out of voting power if you put in many more than that.


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Like everything else this year, pumpkins are more expensive than last year, as is most everything. These are some of my favorites right here!! I did learn a lot about the varieties of pumpkins while I was trying to identify one. If you want to check which variety you have, you can try this site


What is your pleasure today? Do you have a favorite pumpkin, squash, or gourd?


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Please leave the link to your post here so it can easily be found by others. It helps you and me to have them in one place. Where else can you take such a quick trip around the globe? Thank you so much for joining us!! ❤


And just like that, this post is done. I hope you had a good time and learned a little something new. As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit, and just remember, #MarketFriday loves you! Thank you for supporting the challenge!


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Denise Antoinette - Sometimes following your heart means losing your head over things you cannot control.

#TeamUSA is a growing community of quality-content people from the United States or those living here. Check us out on Discord!

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You can find this location on Pinmapple: [//]:# (!pinmapple 38.790011 lat -77.255859 long Merrifield Garden Center, 8132 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042 d3scr)

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