What is pink, decorative and edible, and grown to support breast cancer research? That would be Porcelain Doll F1 pink pumpkins.
A unique foundation and campaign, the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation , is the recipient of a portion of the proceeds from each Porcelain Doll pumpkin we sell in 2017. This is our first year to participate. We are proud to add our name to the growing number of farmers and groups growing this unique pink pumpkin. Besides the monies received from growers and retailers of the pumpkin, the foundation accepts online donations as well.
Pumpkins for a Cause
When our farm operations manager, Eric Mott, first approached Adam Voirin, chief operating officer for Abbey Farms, about planting the pumpkins, Adam was all for it. Not only would the pumpkin be a unique product, Adam’s mother, Linda Voirin, is a breast cancer survivor.
“I just celebrated my five years of being cancer free,” Linda told us. “My last radiation treatment was Oct. 11, 2012. When you get to five years, it is huge!”
She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer on Valentine’s Day 2012. A triple negative diagnosis means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel growth in breast cancer are not present in the cancer tumor. Linda says this meant that they didn’t have a protocol for after treatment, such as taking medication to control hormonal triggers.
Although her cancer type was considered more aggressive, her outcome after treatment has been good. Because of this health scare, Linda told herself that if she could say “yes” to something, she would.
“Things often hold us back,” she explained. “After coming through treatment, I told myself that tomorrow isn’t a given, so if something came along and I could say yes, I was going to say yes.”
The “yes” mentality led her to start Garland and Lace, which offers décor rental for weddings and other events. Although some of her items are custom-made for the Emporium space at Abbey Farms, she has since branched out to decorate other venues, including weddings held at Shannon Hall in Batavia.
As to the pink pumpkins, Linda was surprised to see them. “When I first read that Abbey Farms had pink pumpkins, I thought they meant pumpkins painted pink,” commented Linda. “Once I saw the literature and the pumpkins, I thought how cool is this!”
World’s First Pink Pumpkins
Porcelain Doll is an exotic, naturally pink pumpkin. And…it is the world’s first pink pumpkin. Deeply ribbed, most Porcelain Dolls will weigh 20 to 24 pounds. Adding to its uniqueness is its somewhat square appearance. This pumpkin first hit the marketplace in limited numbers in 2012. To get the seeds, all growers must sign a contract. They agree to donate a set percentage of the proceeds from each pumpkin sold.
Although it is an attractive and an eye-catching conversation starter for your fall décor, Porcelain Doll is edible, too. Its deep orange flesh has a sweet flavor. This makes it the perfect pumpkin for pies, muffins and breads. Cube the pumpkin and roast it to enhance its sweetness, and then add to stews, soups and curries.
Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation
According to their website, pinkpumpkinpatch.org, the 501(c)(3) organization’s purpose is to “unite in the fight against breast cancer with a pink pumpkin on every porch.”
Carol Holsopple-Froese, a breast cancer survivor, is president of the foundation. It is based in Rocky Ford, Colorado. The annual campaign launched in 2012. They encourage people to buy the pumpkins, and to display them on their porch to show unity in the fight to find a cure.
The foundation is totally run by volunteers. It oversees donations and ensures funds received go to charitable organizations focused on breast cancer research. They vet all proposals for funding for financial transparency, low administrative costs and nature of research. The foundation’s goal is to “get the highest percentage of funds raised directly to the search for a cure.”
In February 2017, the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation awarded its 2016 receipts to “Paint the Town Pink” for the Hormel Institute in Minnesota. Read more about this donation here.
Why It Matters
As most of us are already aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to a new report from the American Cancer Society, a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer dropped 38 percent between 1989 and 2015. Most likely, earlier detection through screening and increased awareness and better treatments, based on solid research, are making an impact.
However, there is still more to be done. The American Cancer Society says that breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Only lung cancer kills more women each year. African-American women have a 42 percent higher death rate compared to whites.
We firmly believe that supporting an organization such as the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation is a win-win. Because they support research programs, the monies raised will go directly into finding better treatments or other valuable insight.
With your purchase of Porcelain Doll pink pumpkins from Abbey Farms, you are actually supporting two nonprofits. For those of you who are unaware, Abbey Farms is a not-for-profit farm that supports the mission of the monks of Marmion Abbey.
As Linda Voirin summed, “It is easy enough to get a pink pumpkin as an orange pumpkin; and if money is going toward breast cancer research, get both!”
As always, we sincerely thank you for you purchases. We hope you will add a pink pumpkin to your front porch this year! Perhaps present one to your friend, relative or neighbor who is a breast cancer survivor or is currently in treatment, too. No doubt, they’ll appreciate the sentiment.
Follow this link to read about all the other varieties of pumpkins grown at Abbey Farms in 2017.
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