Pumpkin and Winter Squash Preservation
How to preserve your pumpkin from spooky season and beyond
For many of us, fall is the absolute best time of year: The air gets cooler, spiced cider starts to flow, and the comfy sweaters start to come out. It even feels like fall is Mother Nature’s favorite season, with the leaves turning vibrant colors and the fields coming to life with our favorite home décor item of all – pumpkins and winter squash.
Here are a few of our favorite tips to help you keep your pumpkin fresh for the whole season:
The “Cure” for Pumpkin Preservation: Keep pumpkins looking great by cleaning and curing them. Fill your sink with water and add one tablespoon of dish soap for every gallon of water. Let the pumpkins soak for five minutes to kill off any of the harmful bacteria that can cause rot. Dry them off and allow to rest in a warm spot for 7-10 days. Viola! They will last for 2-3 months!
Vaseline: The Ultimate Pumpkin Saver: For those who want to make their carved pumpkin creations last, apply a generous layer of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly to all exposed flesh of the pumpkin. This will reduce oxygen to the pumpkin and slow the decay.
Alternate Option: Consider painting your pumpkin to make your masterpiece last! Cure the pumpkin using the first tip, paint, and then enjoy for months!
Planning to Eat Your Squash? Store cured winter squash in a cool, dry place; at 50° to 55° F with a relative humidity of 50 to 70 percent—higher humidity can result in rot. Store on a shelf or rack, not on the floor. Keep the skins of cured squash dry to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria. In these conditions, your squash will store for 2-6 months depending on the variety.
Sure, we might be biased – but we think fall is the most magical time of year. Celebrate the beauty of autumn with a beautifully cultivated pumpkin, squash, or gourd from Knapp's U-Pick Farm and use these tips to make the magic last all season.
You can create your own Fall porch or table display using REAL, locally grown pumpkins— most that can even be used for cooking and baking during or after the season!