1). EVALUATE THE STEM:
The size and strength of a stem can tell you a lot about the overall health of the pumpkin! If you're wanting to harvest a pumpkin on your porch and use it as decor, find a stem that has a higher or greener stem. A green stem actually means the pumpkin has a longer lifespan and won't rot right away. And remember... when you think you've found the one, don't grab it by the stem. This is where the pumpkin gets its personality! Always carry your pumpkin by the bottom - the stem is not a handle.
2) CHECK THE COLOR:
This one is especially true if you're on the hunt for a good pumpkin to carve! However, you should always look for a deep orange color and avoid picking squash with soft spots and cuts! Brown spots can indicate early spoilage or rotting which make for a very sad ending.
3) DON'T ALWAYS PICK A PICTURE-PERFECT PUMPKIN:
Keep in mind - your pumpkin doesn't need to be flawless! Gourds are supposed to be a little bit quirky and fun. Most are going to have those little imperfections, but that's truly what makes them stand out. Though you should avoid large blemishes, spots, and mushiness, go for the pumpkins that have extra character. You'll have so much more fun carving these and they'll definitely look unique on your front porch!
THE BLACK FUTSU SQUASH:
After posting these black "pumpkins" on my Instagram story recently, I had so many people asking what they were! It is in fact a squash and not a pumpkin at all! Truly unlike any other squash I've seen before. Here's what they look like immediately after picking:
Though it's black when it's picked, it turns this pretty muted shade of rust.
Pretty cool, huh?