How decorative gourd season conquered fall
How decorative gourd season conquered fall Gourds have become a symbol of the fall. (Girgiel, Edyta/the food passionates/Corbis/Girija Patel/Flickr)
How decorative gourd season conquered fall
Lexile: 1030L

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They’re otherworldly and weird-looking. They sport idd names like Turk’s Turban, Goblin Eggs and Lunch Lady. This autumn, you’ll find them in rustic baskets across America. They’re decorative gourds. And they’ve become an increasingly hot commodity for farmers according to NPR’s Vanessa Rancano. 

Squash are among the earliest plants domesticated by humans. But the most bizarre varieties have recently come into vogue as seasonal ornaments. Gourd breeders tell Rancano that they’ve spend decades perfecting colorfully gnarled squash. They sell at auction to farmers’ market vendors, restaurant owners, or grocers. And they sell at high markup to fall fanatics. 

The decorative gourd is no niche fad, either; its price nearly doubled between 1993 and 2007. They’re so popular they’ve sparked data analyses telling precisely when their season begins and ends. It has also sparked wildly shared parodies and helped support a grassroots tradition of folk crafts. (Painted birdhouses, anyone?) 

Perhaps this demand can be chalked up to the commodification of autumn. A celebration of all things fall that spreads from Starbucks lattes and flavored Twinkies to “fall-scented” kitty litter.

Or maybe, the rise of the gourd is part of a broader food trend: a move towards cherishing ugly, funky-looking fruits and vegetables. With everything from “imperfect” CSAs to art projects about ugly produce finding acclaim, it’s safe to say misshapen crops are having a culinary moment. Ugly produce makes up to 40 percent of food waste in some countries — so it’s about time that twisted squash gets a place in the spotlight.

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What fall traditions do you look forward to most? Why?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • genesisd-orv
    10/04/2018 - 11:15 a.m.

    the fall clothes trends ,boots,food,decorations ,hoodies,Halloween,Halloween movies /TV shows.

  • ZoeL-sto1
    10/04/2018 - 11:41 a.m.

    I love the fall weather. I love dressing up for it, and decorating the house. It's the prettiest time of the year when the leaves are falling, and the trees are red, yellow, and orange.

  • SkyeK-sto
    10/04/2018 - 11:42 a.m.

    When Thanksgiving comes around. All my family is down and we have a big meal.

  • JadenK-sto
    10/04/2018 - 11:42 a.m.

    Good article. I love to know that these are the most Autumn vegetables in America. I definitely want to get a gourd now.

  • AthenaY-dec
    11/07/2018 - 09:39 a.m.

    my favorite fall traditions i look forward every year is to eat lots of turkey.And make lots of delicous cookies.

  • laneyA-dec
    11/07/2018 - 09:40 a.m.

    Fall traditions that I look forward to is to see my family that I haven’t seen for along time. I also can’t wait until after thanksgiving is over and I can go get our Christmas tree 2 days after thanksgiving. These are the fall traditions I most look forward to.

  • JacobS-dec
    1/10/2019 - 11:07 a.m.

    The names of this food it doesn’t sound that good.I wonder where I could get it and try some.

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