Seven Profitable Pumpkin Products

As you gaze out over your pumpkin patch this fall, a disconcerting thought may cross your mind: "Oh no! I never thought that I would get this many pumpkins. There must be thousands of them!" If this happens to you, don't worry. Instead of fretting, use this opportunity to expand your pumpkin marketing horizons. Here are some ideas that will get any potential pumpkin entrepreneur's heart racing.

  1. Baked goods. Delicious pies, cookies and quick breads can be made with pumpkin and sold for a sweet profit. Adventurous cooks with equally adventurous customers can sell exotic baked goods such as pumpkin flans.
  2. Canned goods. Pumpkin butter tops the list of this category, but pumpkin can also be made into delicious soups and stews that can be canned (or frozen) and sold.
  3. Specialty pumpkin seeds. If you are an avid plant breeder, you may enjoy (and profit from) growing and selling seeds for special pumpkin varieties, such as Atlantic Giant pumpkins, white pumpkins or your family's own special heirloom variety. Some "giant pumpkin" seeds are selling for over a dollar a piece! Just be careful to not infringe on patents or trade names and be sure that your seed will be "true" to its parent's characteristics. Otherwise, next summer you'll get angry customer calls about the giant zucchini-like squashes that your disgruntled client is growing from your pumpkin seeds.
  4. Pumpkin blossom honey. If you are a beekeeper with a large pumpkin patch, or have rented some hives to someone who does, consider harvesting some honey right after the bees have been really working the pumpkin flowers. The honey is likely to have a distinctive flavor and can be marketed as pumpkin blossom honey.
  5. Toasted and/or flavored pumpkin seeds. In addition to being a satisfyingly crunchy snack food, pumpkin seeds are very nutritious. There are many sweet and savory recipes for toasted pumpkin seeds, including pumpkin seed granolas and spicy toasted pumpkin seeds.
  6. Carved or painted pumpkins. If you consider yourself the Jack O' Lantern king or queen, get your carving tools out and make some unique decorative items out of your pumpkins. There are even artists who will create custom pumpkin carving templates for you so that you can carve anything--sports team logos, a portrait of your favorite customer--into your pumpkins successfully. To find them, just search for "pre-carved pumpkins" on the internet. Keep in mind that once your pumpkin is carved, it becomes much more perishable.

    If you want to create decorative pumpkins with a long shelf life, you can paint right onto the outside of your pumpkin. Funny cartoon faces are a popular theme for this medium. Just get your non-toxic craft paint out and let your imagination soar (or roll).

  7. Punkin' Chunkin'. If you are not overly sentimental about the fruits of your labors and have lots of space on your farm, set up a punkin' chunkin' station. People will pay good money to launch and smash pumpkins. Why should the state fair be the only place that is cashing in on this phenomenon?

    By the way, punkin' chunkin' is defined by Wikipedia as "hurling a pumpkin by mechanical means over great heights and distances in an attempt to hurl the pumpkin the farthest." Dust off your catapult, trebuchet, compound slingshot or pneumatic air cannon, and let 'em rip!

A note to foodies: remember to follow your local regulations regarding the creation and sale of food products.

A note to Chunkers: Make sure that your farm's liability insurance will cover any mishaps that are due to high-flying squash.

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