By Emily Crowe
The pumpkin harvest is in full swing in eastern New Mexico, and local residents are taking to their front porches and kitchens to put the staple autumn squash on display.
Several vendors at the Clovis and Portales farmers markets sell pie pumpkins, jack-o-lantern pumpkins and the more whimsical ornamental pumpkins and gourds.
Margie Plummer, who manages farmers markets in Clovis and Portales as well as the Veggie Shack in Portales, said people clamor over the unique pumpkins.
“They like to buy the specialty ones moreso than the plain orange ones,” she said. “They don’t buy them to use for more than decorating.”
Plummer’s varieties include the white lumina pumpkin, the flat, round Cinderella pumpkin, the fairy tale pumpkin with deep indentations, and the Long Island cheese variety with smooth, tan skin and sweet, orange flesh ideal for roasting and baking into pies.
Parkview Elementary in Clovis even gets into the spirit of things with a pumpkin parade, which encourages young students to paint and dress up a pumpkin as an original, fictional literary character.
Principal Mandy Carpenter said the students and parents get very competitive with the contest.
“The kids get way involved,” she said. “It’s a big deal.”
Davis Farms Pumpkin Patch
Location: 1615 County Road N
Hours: Saturdays 11 a.m.-sundown, Sundays 1 p.m.-sundown
St. Bernard Farms
Location: 849 New Mexico 77
Hours: Fridays 6 p.m.- 9 p.m., Saturdays 1 p.m.-9 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m.-8 p.m. through Nov. 10
Portales Farmers Market
Address: Big Valley Auto parking lot, 1115 N. Chicago Ave.
Hours: Mondays and Thursdays, 5 p.m.-sold out