Warts are in, at least on pumpkins. So are lumps, bumps, wrinkles and diverse colors. These compelling and unique “Super Freaks,” seen on a day trip to Daisi Hill Farm in Millerton, New York, wore their weirdness proudly. Back in the city, I was bored by the smooth-skinned orange pumpkins sold street-side at corner groceries. Now I wanted a Jack O’ Lantern with some serious battle scars. Looking in the mirror, I felt more tolerant of my own. Imperfection is organic. It is honest. And, at heart, it can signify rebellion.
Is it possible for flowers to photo bomb? I could swear this very urban sunflower found growing on a city rooftop farm is saying "Boo"! I love how a foreground object changes scale and heightens impact. The applied chrome filter reminds me of the heightened realism in a David Lynch movie. This sunflower is scary, but still a lot nicer looking than the the giant man-eating plant, Audrey II, in Little Shop of Horrors.
Pumpkin designers are thinking out of the box. Is it because orange has become such a scary color in the 2016 election season? Or, like heirloom tomato and carrot growers, have they decided that colorful, misshapen, warty and hybrid is just a cooler way to grow. This season I've been surprised by the everywhereness of white, blue, peach, red and even super ugly pumpkins— anything but smooth and orange. I found ghostly white pumpkins with candles in a restaurant bathroom, I stumbled by a natural rainbow of pumpkins at my city fruit market, I read about autumn couleur heirloom pumpkins in The New York Times, and, when I went pumpkin picking in Maine, I walked right by a number of smooth-skinned Jacks to pick the quite voluptuous (and apparently tasty) Porcelain Beauty shown above. Thank God kids will no longer grow up thinking that pumpkins or even carrots (see my blog post, Purple Carrots, Black Dirt Region) can only be orange. Pumpkin diversity may not save the world, but it will definitely make it brighter.
Update 3/21/19: Jenreviews.com sent me this step-by-step recipe for fresh whole wheat sage spaghetti with creamy pumpkin sauce you can make from fresh pumpkins. I never thought to pair pasta with pumpkins before!