When you think of October and Halloween many of us think of Pumpkins, and they serve many different uses too.

I do not like to eat anything Pumpkin unless it is the seeds, but I have not baked my own in years because I get grossed out by the guts and it is a pain straining them off the seeds. I realize I am probably in the minority on this one, but I still love carving them.

So, whether you are buying your pumpkins from a farm, a church or grocery store you need to make sure you get the right one depending on what you are using it for.The folks at Minnesota Grown have some great pointers:

Pumpkins for Carving: Make sure that the pumpkin is firm with no dents or cracks, also make sure the stem is at least 2 inches long. We all have had that one pumpkin where the stem broke off then good luck getting the top off. Also, to preserve your carved pumpkin coat the edges with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly and keep it out of the sun if possible.

Pumpkins for Cooking: Go for the smaller ones they are generally sweeter and less watery.

A Pumpkin to make pie: With over 250+ varieties of pumpkins out there you have a lot to choose from, but these are the best for pies, Sugar Pie, Pink Banana and Cinderella.

Pumpkins for Display Only: Don't forget pumpkins naturally come in a variety of colors like green, blue or white and some even have stripes.

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