natural celebration

jack-o-who? jack-o-lantern

I know when we first started talking pumpkins, we threw jack-o-lanterns to the wayside and got down to business (eating). With Halloween just around the corner, we couldn’t let it go by without getting into the spirit, via decor.

Since we whipped all of our homegrown pumpkins into puree, we hurried our little selves down the street and set out to find the perfect pumpkin to carve a slice of our personalities into.

We chose to buy from a local Mennonite church that has a branch for farming called Oakleaf Mennonite Farm. Their garden that is by the road often catches our eye. Just imagine us driving by and with great enthusiasm exclaiming things like, “look at those veggies!” or “now those are some nice trellises!” It really doesn’t take too much to excite us. Just some saved trash bags and a fancy trellis.

I adore the back story of the Oakleaf Mennonite Farm. Just a couple of folks loving on the land and giving back to the community. Six acres surrounding the Mennonite church is now a full on vegetable and small animal farm. They sell shares for their CSA (community supported agriculture), sell produce at the local farmers market, and each week a percentage of their harvest is given to someone in need in the community. You can read more about them here.

Imagine my gasp when seeing their okra- so tall. The energy around Oakleaf Farm was lovely, I could hang around there for days. They even have swings in a few surrounding trees- yes, please.

Garden chatter aside, proceeds for the pumpkins and other gourd purchases are going to the Navajo Nation and the farm its self. Something we are happy to contribute to.

Once we got the pumpkin home, it was in the hands of the architect.

Ryan sketched ‘t, n, d’ onto our pumpkin accented it with leaves. Then, using a knife and a screwdriver, it was time to get our Halloween on and carve us a jack-o-lantern. This Natural Dream style.

We decided to only remove the orange peel and not cut all the way through the flesh of the pumpkin for a more faded glow. To do this, Ryan used a knife to outline and then used the screwdriver to scrape and scoop the centers of the letters out. For the leaves, he only used the knife because they were more delicate lines.

It was after shaving out the letters and leaves that we cut the top off and gutted it. (And even though we are already up to our ears in pumpkin seeds, we saved the ones from this pumpkin too.) Once all that was done, Ryan pulled out the drill and made small holes through the letters to give it more pizazz and more like the lights in a sign. Once we got the pumpkin all ‘jacked’ we were ready to add the ‘lantern’.

We don’t expect any trick or treaters to grace our doorstep, but we had to get a little festive around here considering watching scary movies and splurging on a little bag of candy (so scandalous) is the extent of our Halloween this year. This month has been as crazy as we anticipated, so in all honestly, kicking our feet up and turning on a marathon of Are You Afraid of the Dark is fine by us. But I am thinking next year we take the time and cook up some homemade candies and other Halloween appropriate treats.

With our low key plans somewhat embarrassingly laid out for you fine people, all that is left to say is, Happy Halloween! Have a safe night full of fabulous costumes and tricky delights.

And hey, if you want to help entertain us on our self proclaimed kicked back night, feel free to send us a shot of your costume of choice – furry friends too (I know Kearney wants to see)!

BONUS: Bloopers from this year’s pumpkin extravaganza…


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