It’s pumpkin season. And while many people have started treating real pumpkins as if they were plastic ornaments, they are actually food. Pumpkin is also not merely a flavor combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger — it is a squash. And someone nearby is probably growing it.

In addition, there are indications of a canned pumpkin shortage this year. So going for the real thing is not only more responsible and tasty, it may be your only option.

Eat local pumpkins

So as the festive season rolls around, make a difference in your friends’ and family’s and farmers’ lives by buying a local pumpkin. Sure, maybe this year you don’t use all local ingredients for your pie, but you’ll be one pumpkin closer to a better world.

If you’re in the USA, try the organic farm finder. If you’re in Canada, look on the Consumer Health List. Or just go to your local farmer’s market or ask at a local health food store.

Locavoracious Pumpkin Pie


  • 2 cups of pumpkin purée — here’s a very thorough rundown on how to make pumpkin purée
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1¼ cups half-and-half
  • ½ teaspoon fresh-ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar — or go an extra step and use ½ cup local honey or maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten — buy local eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 prepared pie shell (9-inch) — if you’re feeling more industrious, make your own pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F — use a countertop oven while you’re cooking the main courses in your main oven.
  2. Scrape vanilla bean to remove seeds. Add the seeds to the pumpkin purée.
  3. Using a blender, process the purée with the ginger and half-and-half until smooth, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl; whisk in the next eight ingredients until well blended. Reserve.
  5. Bake the pie crust as directed, or until the lower ⅔ of the crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove shell from oven.
  7. Pour filling into the pie shell and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  8. Cool on a rack. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired.