By Bobbie Whitehead
A ghostly white pumpkin might make a nice face for a witch or a scarecrow in a Halloween display.
This year the white pumpkins, some called Baby Boos and Full Moons, stand out as favorites for decorations as well as for baking. In Western Tidewater, customers can find such unique varieties lining front yards, markets and retail shops.
While the trend in pumpkins this year might be to add a white pumpkin to a holiday display, customers will also find plenty of traditional bright orange ones.
Growers like Steve and Jordan Berryman of College Run Farms in Surry County have oodles of pumpkins at their own pick-your-own patch where they are selling small white ones called Baby Boos as well as the mid-size white variety called Lumina, which is about the size of a volleyball, Berryman said.
The Full Moons, on the other hand, grow up to about 30 pounds – now that’s a real pumpkin.
“For Halloween, some people have been interested in the One-Too-Many pumpkins that are white with red or green stripes,” Berryman said. “It looks more like veins of an eyeball.”
No matter how customers plan to decorate their patios, porches, steps, or homes, growers at area markets also have the traditional orange pumpkins in small, medium and large sizes.
This year, Berryman has another new variety called the Peanut Pumpkin that looks like a pumpkin with peanuts growing on the outside. Visit Berryman’s web site, www.collegerunfarms.com to take a peek at this special variety.
“Anything unique seems to be popular with the customers,” he said. “The white ones have always been popular.”
Some pumpkins varieties carry such names as Fairy Tales, which is a white pumpkin sometimes appearing beige or tan, and many people’s favorite is the Cinderella variety, which is squatty or flat looking with well-defined ribs, he said.
And for customers wondering about whether they can cook a white pumpkin – yes, the Lumina, or medium-sized white ones, taste sweeter than the orange pumpkins and are orange on the inside.
“We sell some prepicked at our store, but many people like to pick their own,” Berryman said.
College Run Farms on 2051 Alliance Road also has the Prize Winner variety, which is a large orange pumpkin with smooth skin without the defined ribs.
Over in Capron in Southampton County, Davis Lane Farm Market 17093 Southampton Parkway has hybrid pumpkins with the deep ridges, also called veins or ribs, in them.
“The ridges just give the pumpkin a better look,” said Randy Cobb, co-owner.
So far, Cobb said customers have begun buying pumpkins for the holidays, but many will hold out until closer to the holidays.
Davis Lane Farm Market sells orange pumpkins with ridges and smooth skins in all sizes.
“The ones that are 15-20 pounds seem to be the most popular,” Cobb said. “That’s a good Jack-O-Lantern size.”
Customers interested in decorating with mums and gourds tend to want the smaller-size pumpkins, which can be seen at the Cobb’s web site, www.davislanefarmmarket.com.
“You can make a pretty presentation with the smaller ones, and you don’t take up a whole lot of room,” Cobb said.
Along with pumpkins, Davis Lane Farm Market also has gourds for sale, which some customers like to use for decorations as well as for baking.
Other markets such as Grayson & Emma’s Garden Spot in Courtland have white and orange pumpkins in several varieties as does the Suffolk City Market and Country Store and Windsor True Value Hardware and Tidewater Farm & Garden Supply. Pumpkins can be found along Route 460 at the Suffolk and Isle of Wight County line – one grower has pumpkins in a variety of sizes and some gourds.