If you are not from this area you might have made the mistake of carving your pumpkin early in the month. You left it out on the porch like you did at your former home only to find a rotten, mush way before Halloween.
The desert is hard on vegetables sitting outside and doubly so if that gourd has had it's insides carved out and is sitting in the sun.
So what are the tricks that the locals follow to keep their pumpkins looking great until Halloween?
Hold, Hold, Hold...
You know the classic moment in the movie when the enemy is attacking and their leader tells them to hold? Sometimes you need to be patient and just carve the pumpkin a few days before the big dance.
Follow the Mob Boss Tip, "Ice Em"
A big reason your pumpkin did so well if you lived further north was the temperature. Cool days and frosty nights kept that pumpkin looking good for weeks. Knowing that some of your neighbors are actually taking their carved goods in during the day and some even refrigerate them until the blazing sun has set. If nothing more look for a shady spot for them to sit.
Think 50's style Duck Tails and Grease it
Here is a trick that will add a few days to your masterpiece, spread petroleum jelly to the inside of the carved-out pumpkin. I had heard this would add weeks to the pumpkin shell, but when I tried it I would say it only added a few days.
"I Just Feel So Empty Inside"
Don't hollow out the inside. This is probably the best trick. It's a bit of a bummer if you wanted to light it up because there is no space to put your light source, but notice that the grocery store pumpkins last quite a long time because they are still intact.
Like a Novice Movie Critic, Don't go too Deep
This one came from Dave, my brother. This year he just carved the hard outer shell of his creation. This is great. It allowed the pumpkin to age and crinkle in on itself enhancing his work, but not so much that it is unrecognizable.
Think Hollywood Celebrity and go Plastic
If you really want to cheat just grab a foam pumpkin, you can carve them yourself, (something I didn't know until recently) or buy one pre-carved ready to porch sit for you.
Cleanup on...Your Frontporch
Finally, if you do let your pumpkin season too much here is a little tip, it is a mess. Don't grab it by the top, it will just tear off. Cradling it to pick it up could cause some of the liquid inside to spill on you depending on how ripe the mess is. Rolling it causes it to fall apart. I found grabbing a square shovel, or something to scoop the whole thing up was the cleanest idea.
So good luck and happy carving.
Trail of 7000 Hand Carved Pumpkins is a Must See in New York
Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams