Catching up with blogs I should have posted a few months back and trying to cross everything off my 2019 list as fast as possible (aren’t we all!?), today I’m sharing why the Morning Glory Farm Annual Pumpkin Festival is one of my favorite times of the year. Located just five minutes from my home, this island farm creates a day filled to the brim with all things squash and today I’m giving you a local’s view of this pumpkin festival – let’s get started!
There’s something so special about the fall on Martha’s Vineyard. It indicates the end of summer, the busiest season if you work on the island. It indicates a moment to breathe and relax for a bit, nourish ourselves, and maybe take that nap we all need so much.
One of my favorite events of the fall is the Morning Glory Farm Pumpkin Festival. With pumpkin games, hay rides, live music, the fabulous pumpkin trebuchet and much more, this is their celebration of all things pumpkin. This festival takes place each year—rain or shine—on the Saturday after Columbus Day, and is a great day with family and friends.
It’s funny because it really is a family-focused event so everyone there is there with their kids, and since we don’t have any of those, I just like to show up at these events for the food and oh man the food at this pumpkin festival is always so so delicious. Not only is most of the food grown at the farm, the farm chefs cook it so well, that you wish there was a pumpkin festival every weekend in the fall.
The best part about the festival and this farm is that you get to see, taste, and take home some incredible pumpkin varieties – here’s just a short list of over 50 varieties they grew this year:
Fairytale: The “Cinderella’s coach” pumpkin with deep ribs is great for baking and lasts about three months.
Galeux D’Eysines: An heirloom from France, this stunning winter squash is covered with tan-colored “blisters” formed out of the sugars in the pink-orange shell.
Green Striped Cushaw: This Native American heirloom squash, a relative of the crookneck, has sweet flesh for pies inside its handsome striped skin.
Jarrahdale: With its handsome slate-grey skin and thick, sweet flesh, Jarrahdale is a long-holding pumpkin you’ll want to keep around.
Long Island Cheese: This American heirloom got its name from its shape — round and flattened, like a wheel of cheese — and is one of the best pumpkins for pie.
Marina Di Chioggia: Another blister-skinned heirloom, this one’s originally from the Italian coast and is particularly good in gnocchi and ravioli.
North Georgia Candy Roaster: Long cultivated by the Cherokees, this oblong squash has smooth, sweet flesh that grows sweeter with time.
Porcelain Doll: This pink-shelled beauty has sweet flesh to use in pies, soups and pastas.
Red Warty Thing: Originally named Victor, this intensely red-orange, bumpy-skinned fruit was developed by crossing a regular pumpkin with a red Hubbard squash.
Rouge Vif d’Etampes: The vivid scarlet shell of this French heirloom makes it a great display pumpkin; deep orange, medium-sweet flesh inside makes it good for pie.
Tandy: Off-white, upright and oval, Tandy offers color contrast in pumpkin displays and is good for pies and canning.
Winter Luxury: With its delicately netted skin enclosing sweet pumpkin flesh, this pretty variety is ideal for pies.
Now, let’s talk about the food. This year they had grilled burgers, hotdogs, cornbread, pumpkin soup, squash grain salad, and so much more! The chefs really outdo themselves every year though, and we couldn’t wait to dig in.
This squash salad was something that we bought and one that I want to recreate at home: a bed of fresh greens topped with faro, quinoa, and wild rice with a slice of roasted squash on top. So simple, yet so delicious and filling. If you’re looking for more pumpkin recipes, here are just some of my favorites:
And what’s the best drink to accompany such a meal? Fresh apple cider, that’s for sure! Once the fall arrives and apple cider comes to our local shops, I get giddy with excitement. Mind you I didn’t grow up drinking apple cider and couldn’t understand how much different cider was to apple juice. May oh may was I in for a treat the first time I tasted it. So once cider season starts, I make sure to consume as much as possible because it’s such a short few months. The health benefits are also great – so it’s a win-win situation for everyone!
Morning Glory Farm, started in 1975 by James and Deborah Athearn, grows about 65 acres of vegetables and small fruits on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Small successive plantings of a wide variety of crops supply the farmstand from May through December, and is hands down my favorite farm on island. If you find yourself on island next fall, make sure to check out Morning Glory Farm!