Maine has 1.25 million acres of land dedicated to farming and agricultural industry. And one of the most exciting and new things that I came to appreciate here is going to the orchards to pick our own fruits. Coinciding with the Apple picking season is the Pumpkin season. This is an entirely new experience to me because we don’t usually pick vegetable straight from the garden but rather from the public market. And we are not familiar with pumpkin either but more with squash. The only place where you can get pumpkin is from the high-end grocery stores [according to my cousin] and it costs a lot. They usually use it for carving too for Halloween decorations around the posh subdivisions in Manila where they adapted the American tradition to elevate their status from the already lower-than-lowest class in the society. It’s a status symbol back there.
A couple of years ago, I got the chance to see lots of them at the Orchard where we picked apples. I wasn’t able to really go and pick them from the vine though. They were already picked and scattered on the ground near the farm house. But the most amazing event for me was when I went with my in-laws to the Cumberland Fair where I saw all those huge, humongous and gigantic pumpkins weighting over a thousand pounds. That was really a very memorable experience for me.
This year, we were not able to go back there because we were all busy with work. I only see the winning pumpkin weighting 1200+ pounds in the News and that was all about it. Other than eating pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin soup and everything pumpkin from toys to masks… from plastic decorations to real ones… from candies to gummies… and from painted to carved… my all-pumpkin-laden experience is overloaded with fun and stirring comprehension of how important pumpkin is to this country.
Pumpkin season is not just about Halloween here in the US. Pumpkin season is not just about the food and the candies made out of it. Pumpkin season is not just a burst of autumn color and rich American tradition but it is a season associated with rhetorical preparation for the imminent bitter and ruthless season lurking from not so far away distant.