Noring Farms Produce - Deborah Geering - Atlanta Magazine
 

Deborah Geering

Our columnist's musings on the local foods scene

 

Noring Farms Produce

Peculiar pumpkins

10/1/2011

You think your jack-o’-lantern is spooky? Try staring down a scowl carved into a ghostly white pumpkin—a variety appropriately named Casper. Or one with pinkish skin eerily splotched in grayish green, called Speckled Hound. Or a corpse-colored blue Jarrahdale. Now that’s how you scare the neighbor kids.

Andrew and Christina Norman, owners of Noring Farms in Covington, cultivate these unusual squash. Their business plan centers on the exotic: white okra, purple carrots, pastel­colored eggs. The Normans turned to farming when both lost their corporate jobs shortly after marrying five years ago. This summer, at the 108-acre homestead the couple acquired last fall, the Normans (including their children, Alex and Savannah) raised 1,200 heirloom tomato plants, plus colorful decorative corn, a rainbow of okra and pepper varieties, and exotic melons. It’s a diversification strategy gone rural.

In addition to pumpkins with unusual colors, the Normans are growing tiny orange Jack-Be-Littles, palm-sized pumpkins that are perfect for centerpieces and other autumnal decorations. All of the Normans’ unusual squashes are edible. If you’re baking a pie, you might prefer a variety that’s bred more for eating than admiring (or frightening children), though you can certainly roast the larger pumpkins’ seeds for snacking.

Find Noring Farms produce—including the pumpkins, which cost $5 to $15—at Brookhaven, Brookwood, Covington, Decatur, Emory, and Grant Park farmers markets.

Photograph by iStockPhoto.com

Deborah Geering is one of our contributing writers.
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