Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sunday was a beautiful autumn day with a blue sky and crisp snap in the air, perfect for picking out a few pumpkins.  I look forward to the whole pumpkin hunting ritual every year and take the task quite seriously-no lopsided pumpkins for me.  I set out for Ruth's Pumpkin Picking on Long Island's North Shore, a pumpkin farming mecca known throughout the island.  Driving down a country road, you knew you had arrived by the rows of cars and frenzied  families rushing around with bright red wheelbarrows.  "Are they giving them away?"  I wondered.  Hardly. 

I looked out onto a field of several acres dotted with thousands of pumpkins. Even with the hoards of people collecting pumpkins, I was relieved to see that there were plenty left for me.  I methodically walked down the first row and eyed a beauty.  Round and the perfect orange, I could see a perfect Jack-O-Lantern in my sight. Upons closer inspection, I saw that the pumpkin wasn't attached to its stem, nor was the one next to it or the dozen or so around it.  I smelled a conspiracy. I found one of the owners hoping to find some answers.  Apparently South Carolina had a bumper crop this year and the farmer refreshed his pumpkins every few days with pumpkins from the South. Basic supply and demand economics.

I felt a bit deceived maybe even cheated, my local Long Island pumpkin was really from North Carolina.  I gathered up my goods and when to the check out line.  The aroma of fresh cut potatos being fried lightened my mood. As I paid for my pumpkins, the farmer reached for a handful of potatoes from a large cardboard box which said potatoes from Maine. 

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