It’s The Great Pumpkin Patch

Fall Fun for the Entire Family at Stewart’s Garden Center

STORY BY: LESLIE FOSTER

It’s September and that means children will be going back to school, traffic will lighten up, and Stewart’s Hardware and Garden Center will be getting their shipment of pumpkins! Although we don’t have the magnificent fall foliage that most northern states enjoy, we can add color to our front porches and table tops with pumpkins! Stewart’s garden center sells pumpkins in just about every shade, and size you can imagine. From the popular Cinderella variety, to the desirable Ghost pumpkin, you can be certain your search for just the right pumpkin will be guaranteed at Stewarts!

Can’t make it to a farm this fall? Not to worry, on October 1st Stewart’s will hold their 2nd annual Family Fun Day; offering Autumn actives that are fun for the whole family. From mini pumpkins to monster sizes, Stewart’s is THE place to find your pumpkin this Fall! Kim Lassiter is the Garden Center Manager at Stewart’s and she tell us all we need to know about pumpkins!

Q. Fall is just around the corner; When do the first shipment of pumpkins arrive?

A. We will begin receiving our speciality pumpkins(white, Cinderella, pink, fairytale etc.) the week of Sept. 12th. Gourds,indian corn and lots of other items will also be arriving that week. The pumpkin patch will officially open Sept. 21st!

Q. It’s been a hot, dry summer; how may this affect quantity of the pumpkins that you have?

A. I do expect to see a slight shortage due to the heat. We get all of our pumpkins from N.C. and the farmers we deal with have been pumping lots and lots of water to the fields to keep the crop healthy. Hopefully the shortage will not be great enough to affect the price.

Q. Describe Stewart’s pumpkin patch and special activities you provide?

A. Wow! Where do I start? We are gearing up for a bigger and better patch this year by offering a huge variety of pumpkins as well as having all the extras like cornstalks, mums, pansies, gourds etc. Our 2nd Annual Fall Day is set for Oct.1st. We will have games for the kids, music, free hotdogs and I believe Gracie The Clown will be on hand for free facepainting and balloon art! And don’t forget all the great photo ops for the parents. So grab your camera and kids and come check out the pumpkin patch when it opens!

Q. Which variety of Pumpkin is your best seller?

A. I would say it’s probably a toss up between the Cinderella and Ghost pumpkin. Both gorgeous pumpkins and very unique. I’m excited to see the new varieties this year! We may have a new bestseller!

Q. Are pumpkins used for decoration, edible?

A. Absolutely! We will have edible varieties and of course all the cool pumpkins that you see in Southern Living and Martha to decorate with. Some varieties can be used for both. The Cinderella is one of the best cooking pumpkins around. Originating in France, as a cooking pumpkin but made its way to the states and became a decorating sensation!

Q. Do you also sell pumpkin butters and other seasonal treats?

A. We don’t at this time. We are hoping to be able to expand in that area in the near future.

Q. In addition to pumpkins, are there other seasonal decorations for sale at the garden center?

A. We will have everything that you will possibly need to decorate your home for the fall holidays. You need it? I think you will be able to find it at Stewart’s Great Pumpkin Patch!

Q. What is the BIGGEST pumpkin you’ve sold?

A. The biggest pumpkin I ever had the privilege of sending home with someone was a Big Max that weighed close to 200lbs. Had a customer that had admired it for 2 weeks and finally decided she was gonna tackle getting it home. Her plan was for it to fit in the trunk of her very compact car. We were able to get it in the trunk, I’m just not sure if she was ever able to get it out of her trunk! No such dilemma at Stewarts! We will gladly deliver that monster pumpkin to your doorstep.

Q. Any Pumpkin-Carving tips for the best Jack-O-Lanterns that can you pass along to our readers?

A. The best advice I can give is to invest in a good carving tool, take your time and think outside the box. The more unique the better!

Q. After Halloween and carved pumpkins are not looking their best, is there a better way to dispose of them?

A. Find a farmer who has livestock and they usually love to have any leftover pumpkins. Most livestock really enjoy pumpkins! It’s a treat for them!

FUN QUESTIONS:

FAVORITE FOOD: Anything Italian

FAVORITE BOOK: 1984 by George Orwell

FAVORITE MUSIC: 80’s Classics!

FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL: I love Key West and the Caribbean!

FAVORITE THING ABOUT SOUTHPORT: The people of course!

Stewart’s Hardware & Garden 8848 River Road SE, Southport, NC 910.457.5544 Mon-Fri 7am-7pm; Sat 8:00am – 6:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 4:00pm

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