Time to plan your pumpkin!
It’s mid-October. You’ve already had at least one of every pumpkin-spice flavored food imaginable. You’ve seen the fall décor in stores for a long time now. But, as of now you only have two weeks to figure out what you’re going to carve, find that perfect pumpkin and get your carving tools together. And you’re wondering, what’s up with the teal-colored pumpkins I see around stores?
Are teal pumpkins some new designer trend? Did the factory mess up on colors and just send a bunch of them to stores anyway? Are they part of a new Great Pumpkin ad campaign? Nope, none of those.
Teal pumpkins are part of the Teal Pumpkin Project®. This project is part of FARE, Food Allergy Research & Education, an independent, non-profit organization working on behalf of the over 15 million Americans with food allergies. The idea is to put a teal pumpkin out along with your other jack-o-lanterns to let people know that you have non-food treats to hand out to kids who have food allergies. You can find out more about FARE, and get more ideas for treats at www.foodallergy.org.
Candy is difficult for many kids with food allergies, because so many candies contain so many ingredients, even in very small amounts, that one may not think of as being an allergy problem. Offering a second bowl filled with small non-food prizes allows all kids to trick-or-treat easily and safely. Simply say to the kids, “you choose, candy or prize,” and let them decide. Kids love this, and their parents will be very happy too!
Making teal pumpkins can be half the fun. Come on in to your local Ace Hardware store and let our helpful folks mix you up some teal paint. My favorite is Valspar True Teal 202Q. You can get a pint-sized sample of paint, which should be just right to cover a pumpkin or two. Get a couple of foam paint brushes grab the kid’s painting shirt and you’re set for great project. If you’re more in to spray painting your pumpkin, Ace brand or Rust-Oleum 2X spray paints both have a great teal as well.
Leave your painted pumpkin as is, decorate it without carving it or make it in to a jack-o-lantern. Ace can help you get creative with this as well. Along with dedicated pumpkin-carving tools, Ace stocks, of course, all sorts of fun tools that can help your creative side come out. I’ve gone to many pumpkin carving parties. It’s always fun when I show up with my power drill, Dremel tools, saws, wood-working tools and such to make my jack-o-lantern. Now, I’m no artist, but my creative side does come out when I have these tools and a pumpkin or two to have fun with. Try this out, you’ll have fun too!
So, try something new this Halloween. Paint and carve or decorate a teal pumpkin, help kids with food allergies have fun, and hand out some non-food treats. You’ll be glad you did!