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Preserving your Halloween Masterpiece

It’s a disheartening sight to see your Halloween masterpiece cave in on itself, dilapidated and decaying on your porch long before All Hallows Eve arrives.  While carving pumpkins with my daughter last year I decided I would not fall victim to having my creation rot before it was truly appreciated by casual observers.  So I set out to find the best way to preserve our carved pumpkins.  While researching the topic I found a method that worked great and I want to pass it on.
The two main battles that a pumpkin carver faces are dehydration of the pumpkin and growth of bacteria and mold.  To slow down dehydration, it is suggested to soak the carved pumpkin in a bleach solution for at least eight hours.  I used a combination of 1 tsp. of bleach per gallon of water.  The soak will help rehydrate your pumpkin after carving, and the bleach will function as an antimicrobial agent to slow down the growth of bacteria and mold.
Once the pumpkin has completed its bleach soak, it should be dried thoroughly inside and out.  Also, all cut edges should be rubbed with Vaseline or vegetable oil to help “seal” in the pumpkin’s moisture.
After you complete the preservation process your pumpkin is now ready to be displayed.  If you wish, you can continue to spray your pumpkin daily with a mixture of bleach and water to help keep it moist and bacteria/mold free.

Story by Amber McIntosh, BTN
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In the Spring of 2007 I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with an emphasis in agriculture.  Shortly after graduation I married and moved to Morgantown with my husband to start a family.  Monday through Friday I am an industrial sales account manager, but most importantly I am a full time mother and wife. 

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