Pumpkin Farmers Profit with Odd and Ugly Varieties – Warty Gourds Sell Like Crazy

Filed in Gather News Channel by on October 8, 2010 0 Comments

Pretty orange pumpkins with smooth skin are making way for warty, twisted gourds in weird colors. And pumpkin farmers have Martha Stewart to thank for the trend.

“Anything that’s ugly or weird or unusual, it just sells like crazy,” said Randy Graham, a pumpkin farmer from Champaign, IL. He grows and sells 40 pumpkin varieties. He and other pumpkin farmers have noticed the market shift over the last few years, said the San Francisco Chronicle.

Martha Stewart promotes the odd, ugly, warty and twisted varieties of pumpkins as a way to add spark to a Halloween or autumn harvest display, and consumers are agreeing in droves. This is leading pumpkin farmers to invest more time cross-pollinating and planting heirloom varieties.

Warts are also a normal component of pumpkins, but consumers were turned off by them for so long that breeding was done to keep them away. Sometimes, just leaving pumpkins to their own devices adds that extra twist.

The one thing to watch for with those warty, twisted pumpkins? They don’t always make good eating. But there are still plenty of smooth-sided, beige-skinned pumpkins out there for your baking pleasure.

Have you carved any jack-o-lanterns with one of those odd pumpkins? Share your pictures in the comments!

Article ©2010 Brenda Daverin for Gather.com. All rights reserved.

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