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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs