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Pumpkins: Think PINK

Sales of pink pumpkins support the fight against breast cancer

Williston High School FFA Pink Pumpkin ProjectOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink ribbons are on display everywhere to promote early detection of the disease. 

We can fight breast cancer by purchasing or growing PINK PUMPKINS.

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2015).

The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation was established in 2012 to supports organizations involved in breast cancer research. Farmers and community groups grow and sell pink pumpkins with a portion of the proceeds going to raise money for the foundation.

Local groups include the Williston High School Future Farmers of America (FFA). Kimberly Holloway of NDSU and Carrie Bolstad of FFA coordinate this project, which is supported by the NDSU Junior Master Gardener Program (see left photo). "I enjoy the energy these kids bring to this endeavor," Holloway said. So many of them have someone in their family who is fighting or has fought cancer, that it becomes a very personal thing for them."

A special variety, ‘Porcelain Doll’ was developed to support these projects. Besides its distinctive pink rind, the pumpkins have a sweet, dark orange flesh. This flesh is great for pies, soups and treats. It’s very nutritious and full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. ‘Porcelain Doll’ is offered by many seed companies.

Look for pink pumpkins at your local farmers market. Next year, grow your own pink pumpkins and join the battle against breast cancer. For more information, go to pinkpumpkinpatch.org.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2015. October: Breast cancer awareness month. http://healthfinder.gov/nho/octobertoolkit.aspx. Photo at right courtesy of University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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