Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Where to go for pumpkin fun from now until Halloween?
Visit the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at the Northern edge of Central Park, 110th between 5th & Lennox for their Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail. Kids bring their carved Jack-O'Lanterns, the volunteers add lit candles and float them out on the lake on individual wooden shingle rafts. If there's a nice breeze, they sail across they lake in a blaze of glory. Sunday. Oct. 25th 3-6PM.
Below, ready to travel across the Harlem Meer.The Queens County Farm Museum offers a pumpkin patch and corn maze every Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 1. Kids see how pumpkins grow and can buy their favorite, some trucked in. This working farm established in 1697 on 47 acres is now within New York City Limits . The NY Times of 10/19/09 reported on school trips to the Farm Museum and quoted one kindergartner who discovered that "pumpkins have seeds inside them".

Travel a little farther up river to Croton-on Hudson to see over four thousand carved pumpkins decorating the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor at the annual Great Jack'OLantern Pumpkin Blaze. Spiders, dinosaurs, fish, snakes ghosts and a pumpkin construction of Henry Hudson's ship, the Blue Moon are some of the imaginative carvings.

Below, the head of a snake.
You must purchase advance tickets and the last day is Nov.1.

Below, a butterfly in two halves, from the Blaze.

I filled in bare spots in
my four tree wells
last year with 16 small
pumpkins. Eight
were still in place
six weeks later.

Below, New York's Mayor
doesn't have to worry
about his pumpkins,
because police patrol
the front of his home
on E. 79th St. 24/7.

I wish Grand Central Station still had it's Pumpkin Fest, last seen two years ago, when they exhibited giant Jack-O'Lanterns and scary giant puppets. The biggest pumpkin I saw this year was displayed at the Topsfield MA Fair, weighing in at 1471.6 lbs. grown by Bill Rodonis of NH. My favorite pumpkin is the heirloom variety 'Rouge vif d'Etamps' here grown by Jen in Canterbury NH, ready to turn into a coach for Cinderella or a savory pie, or to decorate a low stone wall.Fall decorations in my apartment include 'Jack Be Little' miniature pumpkins, dried seed heads of Sedum, pine cones, pomegranates, and an assortment of other pods. Pomanders made of Clementines with whole cloves stuck in add color and aroma to the collection. They're a great project for little kids who can't wield a knife to make a Halloween face.


Treesarecool said...

i love your emphasis on projects with kids. They are very creative, safe and fun.

Treesarecool said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ellen Spector Platt said...

Trees, Do you believe that in the dim, dark past I was once a Nature Counselor at a day camp, also Girl Scout leader, Brownie leader, Cub Den Mother. My new fav honorific is "Grammy".

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Billie sent this note:Wow, we visited the pumpkin patch in Central Park when our son was little, but the pumpkin sail up in the Harlem Meer looks like much more fun. I'll look for it this year.

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