NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - It's pumpkin-pickin' time in south Louisiana with Autumn in the air. Many farmers are harvesting crops, and for one New Roads couple, that means picking produce that you won't see at most stands.
The wagons are full at Glaser's Produce Farm as customers load up on pumpkins and gourds. Many will end up inside pies and muffins, but others will serve purely decorative purposes.
"Oh it's my favorite crop, because they're so pretty," Jynelle Glaser said. She and husband Charles have been growing pumpkins – alongside other crops – for nearly 30 years.
"We started out our first two or three years raising just the Cow pumpkins, and then it grew from there. We realized we could raise specialty, we realized we could raise certain varieties that you just didn't find in the grocery stores," she said.
There's a variety for every taste, whether it's a pumpkin or a gourd. Some are gnarly, and some are green. Others are spotted, or even bent out of shape. And then there's the stem, a critical part of any pumpkin. You can find them twisted or straight, but no two are exactly alike.
There's one variety in high demand. The Green-Striped Cushaw is a southern specialty. The "meat" is found in the neck of the gourd.
I know pumpkin pies are good for some people, but the Cushaw are really special," Charles Glaser said.
"They all have different textures, but they're all edible, and some of these are actually sweeter - much sweeter - than your traditional pumpkin that you find in the grocery store that you carve for Halloween," Jynelle added.
The Glasers plant their pumpkin seeds over the summer and hope for a dry growing season. Excess rain and humidity stunt their growth, but this year's crop was fairly successful. The temperature at planting time can also have an impact.
"Pretty much anything you put in the ground when it's 95 degrees and up, it's hard to get 'em to go," Charles said. "Once they start growing, they do pretty good growing."
The vines grow up to 40 feet long and produce pretty yellow flowers. As for the pumpkins themselves, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Find Glaser's Produce Farm at 8925 False River Dr. in New Roads. Select pumpkins are available at the
, held Thursday at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Saturday in Downtown Baton Rouge at the intersection of 5th and Main Streets.