News / USA

On Maryland Family Farm, Seeking the Perfect Pumpkin for Halloween

Deborah Block
A popular American tradition every autumn in the United States is to go to a farm with a pumpkin patch, and pick one of the large orange gourds right off the vine. Many of the pumpkins will be carved into candle-lit jack o’ lanterns for the Halloween celebration of the spooky at the end of this month.

The Huffer Family Farm is a busy place each October, as families wander through the 6-hectare Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch, searching for the perfect pumpkin. Sarah Cosgrove has been coming to Jumbo's for several years with her husband and two sons.

“I think the landscape is really pretty and we usually are able to get our pumpkins right off the vine. We'll carve them up and put them on our front porch to decorate our house,” said Cosgrove.



The Huffer family has farmed these 53 hectares near Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains for more than 140 years. David Huffer and his brother are the seventh generation to run the farm, with help from their families. The pumpkin patch opened in 1994, and Huffer says it’s a chance to see pumpkins on the vine instead of in a grocery store.

“A lot of kids don't realize how pumpkins grow," Huffer explained. "They're having fun and learning something at the same time.”

Other fun activities include taking pony rides and eating ice cream.

Rodney Kline, a friend of Huffer's, churns the home-made treat in an ice cream maker connected to an old gas engine from 1918. “Back in the day, the farmer would have used it to run a small corn grinder or corn sheller, maybe the well pump,” he said.

Huffer says families also enjoy the hayride that brings them to the pumpkin patch.

“We have people who just like to ride the wagons because that's all they want to do. They just like to ride around and they'll do that all afternoon, which is fine,” Huffer added.

Diane Wilkerson is amused to watch her grandchildren search for pumpkins.

“Especially when they try to pick them up, and then they go to the ground when they find out that they're too heavy,” she said.

Cameron Spinner was very excited about his first visit to Jumbo’s.

His mother, Cynthia, says the pumpkin patch is a lot of fun for her, too.

“I had a great time just finding the biggest pumpkins. There's huge pumpkins here,” she said.

Six-month-old Aidan Cain was dressed for his first visit to a pumpkin patch. But his parents, Brian and Tammy Cain, look like they’re having more fun.

The pumpkins are taken to their new homes, to be painted or carved or just left plain... a familiar and festive decoration for the Halloween celebration.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid