Choosing and Gutting the Pumpkin
Gardening expert Cary Nalls demonstrates how to carve pumpkins, including how to choose and gut a pumpkin.
Hi, I am Carrey Nalls; I am at Nalls Produce in Franconia, Virginia. We are at the Garden Center Farm Market and as you can see this time of year we are into pumpkin business. I have been asked to show a little bit about some of the different choices as far as pumpkins and how to actually carve one and make you Jack-O'-Lantern for Halloween. There are lots of choices and it s pretty much up to individual taste as to what you want to do. You got the traditional orange pumpkins, you have got the white ones, you have got blue ones, flat red ones, you use. So whatever you ve got a desire to make, you can probably find a pumpkin that will work with it. If you re going to -- you ve got to pick one as you like and then when you are ready to go to work with it, that s when all the fun starts. I have decided I am going to work with this pumpkin right here, which is about as traditional as you can get and we are just going to make a traditional Jack-O'-Lantern out of this that you would burn -- light with a candle. The first thing you ve got to do, you ve got to have a work area where you can it s going to be somewhat messy, so you ve got to have a place for your trash and you ve got to -- the easiest way to do it is to have a surface that will support the pumpkin firmly and where you can work at it and do the job that you need to do without it. You know, the pumpkin needs to be somewhat sturdy, on the study table with some stability. First thing you ve got to do is have a knife that will carve the pumpkin. If you ve got a small thick bladed knife, it s a lot harder. You can try and do this with a stake knife would be almost well, you could do it, but it really would not be easy. So, you ve have got a knife that s sharp and got a blade that s somewhat flexible that makes it a lot easier and you can do it in probably half the time. The first thing you ve got to do after you have decided what kind of pumpkin you are going to work on and when you are going to do it, is you have got to clean the pumpkin out, so you have got to cut it to go to work. The first thing you do is start with the top and you open and you take the top out of the pumpkin to open it up where you can clean it out, and then, but you don t throw that away. So you carve the top open and you take it off, and you ve got some seeds attached to it, you trim this off to where you could use just as, put back on the pumpkin, when you are finished. Inside the pumpkin you can see that it s got seeds, it s got strings, it s got it s just all the natural stuff and that you need to clean out before you can go any further. You ve got to get your hands dirty and you ve got to take the insides out. Some people take the seeds and they dry them out, they roast them, they eat them; some people put them out for the birds. Right now I am going to throw these away and this is probably the worst job of the whole process, but after this is over, then the fun starts the fun part actually gets started. You see the pumpkin is cleaned out now and the top will fit back on just like it came off. Now that the pumpkin s cleaned out, the first step we are bringing it to life is, we are going to cut the eyes and trim nose and we are going to make this a face.