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Peter Lynch of Rockville Centre carries pumpkins to the cash register as his family watches. (Barbaraellen Koch)

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Peter Lynch of Rockville Centre carries pumpkins to the cash register as his family watches (from left) Caris, 9, Drew, 2, Evan, 6, wife Demitra and Ross, 12at the 26-acre Stakey Pumpkin farm in Aquebogue Friday afternoon. They have been visiting the farm for over 20 years.
Peter Lynch of Rockville Centre carries pumpkins to the cash register at Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm as his family watches. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Pumpkin season has returned to the North Fork — and that means flavored lattes and craft beers will be cropping up at local cafes and breweries. But it is not just beverages that get an infusion of pumpkin come October — and it’s not all pumpkin pie either. Stephan Bogardus, executive chef at The Halyard at Sound View in Greenport, often takes a savory approach to the seasonal squash.

“What I like most about pumpkin is that it has one of those smells that immediately takes you back to childhood,” he said. “There are a lot of things you can do with it. It is almost like the fall version of a strawberry because it is all about aroma. When you roast it in the oven, whether it is for soup or puréed with some sage and brown butter, it has the power to transport you.”

Bogardus has previously used pumpkin to create elevated seafood dishes. After roasting the pumpkin for about one hour at 300 degrees, he makes a simply spiced purée in a food processor. The purée is then topped with seared scallops and mushrooms.

“The sweetness of the scallops works perfectly with the sweetness of the pumpkin and then the mushrooms bring out the savory nuances of the squash as well,” Bogardus said.

Pumpkins are available through the end of October (sometimes until mid-November, depending on the weather). Get them locally at Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River, Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue, Helen’s Greenhouses & Flower Farm in Aquebogue or Krupski Farms in Peconic, among others. See our guide to U-pick pumpkins on page.

Apples, eggplant, potatoes and squash are also in season this month.

Fun Facts

• An average-sized pumpkin contains about one cup of seeds.

• Pumpkins were once used to get rid of freckles and treat snakebites.

• 80% of the country’s pumpkin crop is available during October.

• Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica.

• Sales of pumpkin-flavored items totaled more than $414 million in 2017.

• The world’s heaviest pumpkin weighed more than 2,600 pounds.

• Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

Health Benefits

• Excellent source of potassium

• Helps maintain normal blood pressure

• Rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant

• Good source of Vitamin A, which helps preserve vision and fight infection

— According to The Mayo Clinic

Nutrition Information

Amount per 1 cup (116 g):

Calories: 30

Protein: 1 gram

Carbs: 8 grams

Sugar: 3 grams

Fiber: 1 gram

Fat: 0 grams

Vitamin A: 197% of RDI

Vitamin C: 17% of RDI

Iron: 5% of RDI

Potassium: 8% of RDI

— According to the United States Department of Agriculture

What’s in season is sponsored by Farm Credit East.

Krupski’s Pumpkin Farm in Peconic is a local favorite. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder

Where to pick pumpkins on the North Fork

Andrews Family Farm and Greenhouses
1038 Sound Ave., Wading River
Extras: Corn maze

Fink’s Country Farm
6242 Middle Country Road, Wading River
Extras: Live music (noon-4 on weekends), corn maze, animal farm, hayrides, bounce house, pig races, playground

Gabrielsen’s Country Farm
1299 Main Road, Jamesport
Extras: Corn maze, bounce house, hayrides, games, music, children’s train rides (Saturday and Sunday)

Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market
4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead
Extras: Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., farm animals, lavender labyrinth, cart track

Greenland Family Farms
17155 County Road 48, Cutchogue
Extras: Hayrides (on weekends)

Harbes Western Farm
1223 Main Road, Jamesport
Extras: Day and night corn mazes, games, bounce house, lasso roping, bow-and-arrow shooting activities

Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard
715 Sound Ave., Mattituck
Extras: Day and night corn mazes, hayrides, bounce house, pig races

Harbes Family Farm and Orchard
5698 Sound Ave., Riverhead
Extras: Day and night corn mazes, farm animals, pony rides, hayrides, pedal carts

Helen’s Greenhouses & Flower Farm
987 Union Ave., Aquebogue
Extras: Hayrides, farm animals and corn maze (weekends only)

Hodun Farms
3674 Route 25, Calverton
Extras: Hayrides

Krupski Farms
38030 Route 25, Peconic
Extras: Corn maze, haunted barn, hayrides

Lewin Farms/Baiting Hollow Nurseries
812 Sound Ave., Calverton
Extras: Corn maze

May’s Farm Stand
6361 Route 25A, Wading River
Extras: Corn maze, hayrides, music

The Pumpkin Patch at Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
20685 Main Road, Mattituck
Extras: Evergreen maze, fire pit, wine and cider tastings, children’s train rides (Saturday and Sunday)

Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm
2287 Sound Ave., Calverton
Extras: Corn maze, wooden climbing structures

Schmitt’s Family Farm
3355 Sound Ave, Riverhead
Extras: Fresh cut flowers, hanging baskets, fall décor, homemade baked goods

Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm
270 West Lane, Aquebogue
Extras: Corn maze, pony rides, make-your-own scarecrows

Verderber’s Garden Center
459 Route 25, Aquebogue
Extras: Corn maze

Windy Acres Farm
3810 Middle Country Road, Calverton
Extras: Corn maze, farm animals, hayrides

W. Zilnicki Pumpkins
Sound Ave., Riverhead
Extras: Corn maze