Before they were bred to be round and orange front-porch ornaments, pumpkins came in all shapes and colors and their tasty flesh was a staple of the early American diet. Those heirloom cucurbits are now endangered species, but you can ogle more than 100 variations at the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois (between Chicago and St. Louis, in Amish country), where Mac Condill, a fifth-generation farmer, plants squash seeds collected around the world. When you're not filling your wagon with burgundy or blue picks, or finding your way through a corn maze, you can learn to bake a Japanese tetsukabuto squash pie. No settling for garden-variety here.
RR 1, Arthur, Ill.; 217/543-2394; thegreatpumpkinpatch.biz.
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