Desperately need to preserve (dry, store) pumpkin Please Help!

lorigloreNovember 30, 2008

I was wondering if you have any ideas on how to preserve a pumpkin so that it will keep for as long as possible. I have a pumpkin that I desperatly need to dry out, preserve, whatever so that my son can keep it. Here's why...

My son's dog, Drive, was hit by a car and sadly we weren't able to save her. Drive loved playing with one of our pumpkins. The pumpkin has her little claw marks all over it. Drive was our baby. She was a Treeing Walker coondog--she just treed her first coon a month ago. But we kept her inside--she slept in bed between me and my son and was housebroken. They played football and soccer together. She would pull him down the street on his Razor scooter. They really loved each other. We are just sick about losing her. I just want to help him keep any memories he can. We don't have many pics of her because my camera broke and I can't afford a new one.

My son wants to keep the pumpkin on his bookshelf with her toys. How can I preserve this pumpkin so it will last for as long as possible? It would mean so much to my son.

I wonder if I could cut out the bottom and scrape it clean. Let it dry out and shellac it. Kinda like they do gourds? I just don't know what to do.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for all of your ideas!


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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. Last year we had one of those white pumpkins that lasted into late spring. I seached drying pumpkins and didn't really find any instructions on how to do this. I did read that damaging the skin will hasten decomposition as will cutting it in any way. I would suggest that your son keep it in a cool place for as long as possible. There is a book called "Pumpkin Jack" that follows the life cycle of a boy's beloved jack o'lantern. Eventually the pumpkin rots, but he is able to plant a seed and grow a new vine. Perhaps you could read this book to your son and relate it to the circle of life for all living things. When the pumpkin does finally begin to rot, he could save the seeds and grown a vine in the spring.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Could you get a friend to take a picture? Do you have a garden center in your area? Or your county Ag. commissioner. ?
Am not sure they dry out like gourds as they are thicker. You could also do a google search on pumkins.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 3:47PM
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Thank you both so much. I have the Pumpkin Jack book. That's a great idea to read that and plant the seeds. Also, I haven't thought about calling our county's ag commissioner. I will do that tomorrow.
Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Hi, Lori. I'm so sorry for your loss. I do dried flower crafts, & just this year I've seen some garlands with dried pumpkin chunks online. While you can't save the whole pumpkin, you may be able to cut a chunk w/ the marks and dry it. I would trim as much flesh from it as possible, and dry it on a dehydrator or a low-200 degree oven. As the others said, planting a pumpkin from the seeds would be a nice way to remember your pet. Some pumpkin-carving sites can make you a pattern from a photo-your pumpkin next year could display Drive's image. Even if you don't do that, I would definitely save the seeds to plant. Just air-dry them on a paper towel (the top of the fridge is good because there's a little warmth), seal them in a bag, and keep dry. Some people recommend putting them in a Mason jar in the fridge 'til spring planting time. Take care!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:20AM
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That's a wonderful idea! Thank you so much! Do I just dry it out or do I need to put some kind of sealant on it afterward?
Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 5:10PM
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Hi, Very sorry about your pet. Regarding the pumpkin, many, many years ago when I was in my 40s (72 now) I really sprayed a red maple leaf in perfect condition with some hairspray. To my surprise, it remained beautiful and supple for a few years. I really sprayed it good in every nook and cranny.

I had forgotten that and tried it again last year only at the time not remembering I had used hair spray and instead used clear spray sealer. The spray sealer did not work at all.

Try a hair spray that really protects from moisture.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 8:29AM
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