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The Madera Tribune

A few words on pumpkin tradition

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webmaster | 10/30/13

I am getting tired of foolishness from people such as Jill Richardson, the author of “Recipe for America: Why our food system is broken and what we can do to fix it”. My response to her letter is, “Lady, keep your hands off MY food system; it doesn’t appear broken to me at all. You are not aware of life in the rural countries in the world that have no lights, if you are not smart enough to pack a flashlight while traveling in a rural community.

First, Maderans are smart enough to walk under the stars and pack a flashlight to use while we check our livestock or our fields or while we camp at our lakes, forests and woodlands.

Second, I am proud of the people I know within Madera’s agriculture. If Richardson looked at a Google Earth map, she would have noticed that most of our county is rural. We have tree-lined forests and tree-lined lanes full of pistachios, almonds and various fruit trees.

Third, I think she missed the point about why we should be proud we can carve a pumpkin. She forgot her lessons in economics, so I will remind her. We have three holidays that a pumpkin can be carved, used for decorations, or eaten. These holidays include Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Her issue was that we should feel lucky that we have the luxury to carve a pumpkin. My response is we can do it because my ancient culture provided an economic impact for my community and my nation. This economic importance of a $4 pumpkin is the following:

  • Farmers and their employees have an income that supports the local stores and business which included agricultural supplies of ag chemicals, pipes, safety gear and farming equipment. Some growers choose to have spooky pumpkin patches with tractor rides and parties served with our wine.
  • Truckers move the pumpkins to stores and vendors.
  • This newspaper or other magazines employ the artist or writer to show us how to decorate our homes or pumpkin and the chef to display the recipes.
  • Stores sell the pumpkins and all the supplies that will provide candy, decorations, movies, music, drinks, food, costumes, etc.
  • Organizations for our youth raise money for scholarships and community projects, like our Interact’s Haunted House.
  • Restaurant employees flourish with activities and more Madera products are sold.
  • Children can participate in a fun holiday that neighbor greets neighbor and chats for a while.

Finally, there are reasons why we have the economic “luxury” to have different cultures in our valley join in the fun around my culture’s carving a pumpkin.

One, it is because we have individuals in this country who believe in 80 percent of the 10 Commandments that Moses wrote down in a tablet around 2,500 years ago.

Two, we had founders who copied the concept from Moses, they developed for us a representative republic as a stable form of government. Our founders knew dictators and monarchs involved their citizens in more wars. Third, we have a stable government with citizens who participate and bureaucrats who make an effort to ensure our rules are administered fairly.

I am not telling Ms. Richardson to have my religion; but those 10 simple rules mean I have the right to wander around with a flashlight in my rural community.

In closing, I agree that I can learn a lot more about other poorer countries and their plants, but I don’t feel guilty about what I know and how my food system works smoothly. I am proud that I have the luxury to greet the kid at my door with a farm treat with a lighted pumpkin at my door thanks to our economic system and our form of government. Nope, lady, I do not feel guilty at ALL about not eating my carved pumpkin and you can’t make me feel guilty either.

Nancy Mattrocce,
Society for the Promotion of Carved Pumpkins,


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