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Pumpkin Picking in New London County (With Recipe)

Halloween's just around the corner, time to check out Patch's scoop on local pumpkin patches and farm stands!

Pumpkins began showing up on doorsteps in Stonington in early September, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy this year’s pumpkin season.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is expecting a bountiful 2012 pumpkin season, which after a disastrous 2011 season is good news for farmers, merchants and customers.

“On the retail level things are good, we shouldn’t see any shortages,” Linda Piotrowicz of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture said.

Pumpkins, Piotrowicz, said began popping up a little earlier than normal this season due to the record warm summer temperatures. This year’s pumpkin crop, Piotrowicz said is a little shorter than the historical norm, but is much better than the 2011 season that was devastated by rains from Tropical Storm Irene.

If you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin to carve a Jack O’ Lantern for Halloween or to round out that front porch fall display stop by one of these farm stands or pick-your-own places.

Holmberg Orchards
Everyday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
12 Orchard Lane, Gales Ferry, Conn.

Maple Lane Farms
Everyday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
57 N.W. Corner Rd. Preston, Conn.


Everday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
436 Boston Post Rd. East Lyme, Conn.

Whittle's Willow Spring Farm
Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1030 Noank Ledyard Rd. Mystic, Conn.

If after picking out that perfect pumpkin your inspired to bake something involving a pumpkin this year’s canned pumpkin supply might not be as bountiful.

Libby’s, the U.S. retail queen of canned pumpkin, is expecting a lower than normal supply due to the drought that has affected most of the Midwest.

“The many thousands of acres of pumpkin we grow are located right in the midst of the drought-stricken area, 50 miles out in any direction from Morton, Illinois, where we pack the pumpkins we pick,” Roz O'Hearn, spokesperson for Libby's said. “Those fields that were not irrigated (about half) are producing smaller than usual pumpkins, so yields will be down. While the quality is great (the solids are higher), there will be less pumpkin harvested this year.”

Four out of five cans of pumpkin sold in the U.S. are Libby’s.

“While the harvest won’t be as bountiful as last year’s, it will still be a good one,” O’Hearn said.

Here are some pumpkin recipes for inspirations:

Julie’s Grandmother’s Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: This simple sheet cake is made with canned pumpkin puree which keeps it moist and adds tons of flavor.

Donna's Almost All Homemade Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake: I am not always a fan of using cake mixes, but in this recipe, there is almost no way you could tell the difference. Adding the canned pumpkin and walnuts makes it your own.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins or walnuts

Here's What To Do

Mix in the order give and bake at 350 degrees for almost an hour.

Where’s your favorite place to pick pumpkins? What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

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