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Pumpkins and gourds are a staple of fall decorations outdoors and in my home so I am in the habit of purchasing a truck load of them.  This year was a little more extreme than usual because I came across so many interesting shapes, textures and colors.  Not only are there new hybrids, but many of the heirloom varieties of pumpkins are resurfacing. 

Because there are so many to choose from I couldn’t narrow down my selection!  By the time I made it home my car was completely loaded down with pumpkins.  Here are some of the interesting varieties I saw.

Red Warty Thing
Red Warty Thing Pumpkin

This is the offspring of a pumpkin and a red Hubbard Squash. The color is bright orange red and the rind is lumpy. Not only is it decorative, but good for cooking as well. The flesh is smooth and also quite sweet.

Fairytale (Cucurbita moschata)
Fairy Tale Pumpkin I like to purchase this pumpkin in various stages of development. The younger pumpkins are dark green with peach brush strokes. Older pumpkins are pale orange. Under the right conditions 'Fairytale' pumpkins can grow to 20 to 30 pounds.

Rouge Vif d'Estampe (Cucurbita maxima)
Rouge Vif d'Estampe Pumpkin

This is also known as the Cinderella pumpkin because it was the model for Cinderella's carriage. These flat, deeply lobed pumpkins are great for stacking near a door or gate.

Jarradale (Cucurbita pepo)
Jarradale Pumpkin

This is a cross between a blue Hubbard squash and a Cinderella pumpkin. As you can see the skin is an interesting grey blue color and it takes its shape from the Cinderella pumpkin.

Long Island Cheese (Cucurbita moschata)
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

This cheese pumpkin is an heirloom variety that's seeing a resurgence in popularity. The shape and tan color makes it looks somewhat like a wheel of cheese. There are several types of cheese pumpkins in addition to the Long Island Cheese. All are ideal for making pies because the flesh is very dense.

Full Moon x Jarradale
Full Moon x Jarradale Pumpkin

This is an unnamed pumpkin that I found at a local pumpkin patch. The farmer crossed a Full Moon pumpkin, which is white variety with a Jarradale pumpkin. The result is this mottled green pumpkin with raised scars in a mosaic pattern.

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