Monday, January 12, 2015

Do Pumpkins Keep Well?

It's the middle of January, our fresh garden carrots have all been eaten, our fresh garden tomatoes also.  I still have 5 pumpkins sitting in our cold garage on the wooden stairs, though. When I was looking for a good substitute for color and flavor in the chicken and rice soup I was making, I remembered I was out of carrots, but I still had pumpkin. Do they keep well?  Could I still use it?

Well, I gave it a shot. I cut it open, and it looked beautiful. So I used it. And the soup was divine! You couldn't really taste the pumpkin, which was fine, but the vitamins were all still there and the color was pretty.

So, in answer to the question, do pumpkins keep well???

I researched and found that as long as they are grown well and kept well, they keep well. 

How to properly store pumpkins after harvest:

Any pumpkins that have cuts in the skin or didn't grow well, probably will not keep well. To keep a pumpkin, you need to be sure that it has a firm skin, and you let it harden outside in the shade (A week or two), but don't let it freeze.  You may cut it from the plant, but be sure to leave a couple inches of stem, because it will still give nutrients to the pumpkin, and it will store better. When you bring it in for storage, a cool (the articles that I read suggested 50° or so), dark place is best. Our garage seems to work fine, and be sure to store it on something to allow air to circulate completely around the pumpkin. That's it. Depending on the variety, pumpkins can keep three to six months.  

P.S. Hubbards keep the longest. 

There you have it. I have plans to make a delicious pumpkin curry with some of my remaining pumpkins.  Nutritious and Delicious!  I'll share the recipe after I make it.