The pumpkin crop has arrived at local farms. Here’s how to pick the right one for carving.

Searching for that perfect pumpkin? Your chances to find it at a local farm are better than ever.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says pumpkins are now in the state's top 20 agriculture products, reporting more than $10 million in sales last year.

If you're looking for the perfect pumpkin for carving or eating, thespruce.com and care.com have some things to keep in mind, including:

  • Find a pumpkin that is firm all over, but not so hard that a knife can't slice through.
  • Check the thickness by tapping it. Carving pumpkins should more of a hollow sound. Ones for cooking should have thicker walls.
  • Test the pumpkin to see if it has an even base for displaying best.
  • Watch out for too many dark spots.
  • Don't be afraid of bumps or lumps. They add character.

To find locally grown pumpkins, head to VirginiaGrown.com, search "pumpkins" in the Product Name/Description bar and enter your zip code.

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