Jump for joy if you love orange. This is your month.
You can buy orange greeting cards, crepe paper, candle holders, place mats and storage bins, all conveniently located in the same shopping aisle.
You can wear your Oregon Beavers sweatshirts and blend right in.
Keep walking down the aisle (in your orange sweatshirt) and you’ll see a tower of candy, from floor to eye-level.
I love pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, pumpkin carving and even watching carved pumpkins rot in the windowsill. But come on now … how much pumpkin pushing is really necessary?
At the grocery store this week there were three huge bins of pumpkins near the shopping carts. How convenient.
In case I missed 1.5 tons of pumpkins by the doorway, there were more placed precariously above the cheese and lunchmeat.
I don’t have children, but if I did, I would blindfold them before shopping. If I invested the money I saved, I could pay for their counseling when they became adults.
My beau and I traveled through Half Moon Bay this week. The coast has greenhouses the way the Sacramento Valley has farms — row after row of enclosed structures with young plants.
Most of the nurseries had huge piles of pumpkins out front. The orange fruit was scattered about, among hay bales. I guess we were supposed to pretend the pumpkins grew that way, and the vines magically disappeared.
After passing several pumpkin patches, we were cracking up. There must have been enough pumpkins to provide jack o’lanterns to every man woman, child and Chihuahua from Santa Cruz to Arcata.
The Garmin took us off-track and we stumbled upon the pumpkin parking lot — where a line of trucks were filled with pumpkins.
I shouldn’t scoff too much at these merchants. They’re just trying to make a buck. And if you think about it, Brussels sprouts are in season on the coast right now. A giant display of Brussels sprouts just doesn’t have the same seasonal charm.
Pumpkins, of course, grow in warm climates. Seventy percent, in fact, are grown in San Joaquin County, according to the University of California fact sheet http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/7222.pdf.
I feel self-righteous in my snobbery of displaced pumpkin displays. You see, we are fortunate enough in Butte County to support actual pumpkin production.
That’s something we can embrace.
Buy orange fruit locally
Ronnie Cockrell called and reminded me that the Chico Unified students were at it again, selling pumpkins on the 10-acre farm on Henshaw where they learn to grow and sell “food,” and offer families something fun to do on a Saturday.
See the story here: http://goo.gl/CN2Vk3.
Last year, and others years before, my friends and family visited TJ Farms, 3600 Chico Ave., http://www.tjfarmsestates.com/seasonal.
We posed the rubber chicken in many compromising positions, pet tame animals and bought pickled cucumbers that were grown on the farm. That’s the way it’s supposed to be — a real farm, where real pumpkins grow.
I’m not sure where all the pumpkin patches are located this year. But if you have one, and send me a note, I’ll make sure the information gets printed somewhere in the newspaper, or at least in online electrons.
For more inane prattle, check out my blog at www.norcalblogs.com/sowthere. For feedback, send to P.O. Box 9, Chico CA 95927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.