October. And the Pumpkin Fairy.




October is time for…

Harvesting and carving pumpkins. Every year we have volunteer pumpkin plants that spring up (this year in the asparagus bed) and provide us with plenty of pumpkins to carve.

Knitting. Constantly. Obsessively. Neurotically. In my knitting basket is Lupine's birthday sweatermy second arm warmer, a dress for our favorite Waldorf baby, and more – with Sage and Pete's sweaters on deck for the coming weeks.

Making live-fermented veggies to last us through the winter. Sauerkraut, gingered carrots, kim chi, cordito, and more. These are among my favorite foods and are on our table every day. (I use Sandor Katz's formula for ferments, though I don't follow a proper recipe anymore.)

Bringing out the bin of hand knits to handwash and lay out to dry the mittens, hats, sweaters, and slippers. These knits are such a simple pleasure for me. Some were knit by my grandma, others by me. I treasure them.

Putting the summer garden to bed. And the canning supplies. We're done! Time to count the jars. This was a great first canning year.

Putting the finishing touches on our Halloween costumes. So fun.


As we look ahead to Halloween I wanted to share with you a favorite magical tradition in our home: the Pumpkin Fairy. I was introduced to the Pumpkin Fairy by one of my most magical friends several years ago. And I was so glad we were.The Pumpkin Fairy is wonderful.

You see, I was always a little sketchy on keeping all that sugar from Halloween around the house. It's not what I wanted my kids to eat, yet I didn't want to be the heavy and swoop in and swipe their candy on November 1. Hello, rock. Hello, hard place. And then the Pumpkin Fairy swooped in on an autumn wind and saved the day.

The Pumpkin Fairy arrives by invitation to transform your Halloween treats into a wonderful, simple gift. (If she's never come before it's only because you didn't invite her before.) To invite her to your home is simple. Your child first selects the candy you will give her and put it out in a basket, covered with a cloth or silk. (Sometimes it is easier to choose a few to keep and put the rest out for the fairy.)

By morning the Pumpkin Fairy has come and transformed the candy into something lovely, akin to what you might find in our spring baskets. Around here the size of the gift is determined by how much candy they give, as an incentive to give it all. The Pumpkin Fairy has brought crystals, craft supplies, small handmade toys, and a special fall book. 

So there you go. That's how we do it around here.

(P.S. I'm closing down my Etsy shop for a while and have everything 20% off with the coupon code PUMPKINFAIRY if it is of interest to you. There are a couple of toddler Waldorf dolls, an upcycled shoulder bag, and a soft woolen hat.) 

22 thoughts on “October. And the Pumpkin Fairy.

  1. Robyn says:

    Did you seriously say this was your first year canning? Wow, you got A LOT accomplished for your first year! Also, i’d love to read a post on your kids Halloween costumes!

  2. Luisa says:

    Great idea! That’s a great for families with food allergies too. Holidays like Halloween can be a problem with nut and dairy allergies usually the candy gets traded in for money. But this is more personal.

  3. Kate says:

    It will be our first trick-or-treating adventure this year and we are definitely inviting the Pumpkin Fairy to visit! Thanks for introducing us to her from the very beginning. 🙂

  4. Lauren says:

    Halloween in my town in the deep south is not what it used to be. Not many houses give out and we usually get home feeling frustrated from wasting our time finding houses. I think that this year I am going to take your idea of the pumpkin fairy and alter it to where the pumpkin fairy brings appropriate treats and have the kids dress up that day and just see how that works. And we’ll take them to the fall festival.. I don’t see how they’ll miss out and it’ll be magical and we will save gas!

  5. Rachel Wolf says:

    Wow. I cant imagine having to search for houses. A fall celebration, a campfire perhaps (or a candle and a story) and some fairy magic sounds better than anything I can imagine! Blessings, Rachel

  6. amy says:

    We love the Pumpkin Fairy at our house too, though we call her the Candy Fairy… A friend introduced us to her when I was pregnant with my first baby, now 4.5 years old. They invite her to come to their house not just after Halloween, but also after any other occasions where their kids get lots of candy, like a birthday party, etc. I love the idea of putting a silk over the candy, and the magic of unveiling the surprise underneath. Also, that the more candy you leave, the bigger the fairy’s gift, that’s a great idea. We have been letting our older son pick out as many pieces as he is years old, to keep, and leaving the rest for the fairy. This works well now, but once he is ten, hmmm… Thanks for sharing Rachel!

  7. Danielle says:

    This will be our first Halloween where the little guy will understand what is going into his basket. While we aren’t strangers to treats around here (we love to bake), I cringe at the thought of a bucket filled with sub-standard candies. Perhaps a visit from the fairy is in order here too. I’m thinking a homemade pumpkin bar and a small new toy…

  8. Amy says:

    The pumpkin fairy comes to our house too. She leaves rolled up dollar bills tied with dental floss stacked up in a neat pile. Sounds kind of nuerotic!
    You are a busy mama. I am knitting too. Must be the Midwest weather!

  9. nannergirl says:

    You’ve always got such creative ideas to share! We’ve just found out our daughter has some tooth problems and I’ve been reading your posts about bone broth. This idea will really help us to get rid of most of our candy. Thanks Rachel 🙂

  10. Karlamcurry.wordpress.com says:

    I love the idea of the Pumpkin Fairy… but the idea of having to figure out what to buy/make to give from the fairy kind of gives me a headache! Maybe if I had planned in advance…

    We don’t go crazy on Halloween, and I don’t like to spend a lot of money on costumes, but it’s fun to let the kids dress up. This year I made my daughter a tutu skirt and I’m trying ot put together a mermaid outfit (not sure yet on my son). We drive around to the homes of friends and family members instead of walking around the neighborhood; it’s a good excuse for short visits and the kids don’t end up with too much candy.

  11. Abbie says:

    What an incredible idea! I LOVE it. I think my husband might oppose though…he enjoys the candy almost more than my kids. Might have to keep a special hidden stash around for him!! HA!
    Thanks for sharing this idea.

  12. Amy Marotz says:

    I am so inspired! This is the perfect solution to our candy conundrum 🙂 I had some little St. Nicholas presents lined up that the Pumpkin Fairy might have to appropriate. My four year old is already very excited about ‘inviting’ the P.F. to our home. Thanks!

  13. Willow says:

    ummm…thank you for this!! the pumpkin fairy was officialy introduced this evening at dinner and recieved with wide eyes and excitement.

  14. amy delaterre says:

    We call her the Candy Fairy, and of all the many and lovely fairies who visit us, she is my absolute favorite! Every year she leaves fun new toothbrushes along with autumn books, and, since last year, apparently she “always” leaves Legos. We also have determined that the more candy we leave, the cooler the gift she leaves in return. This has prompted my six year old to declare this year that he is trick or treating with a pillow case, and not stopping til it’s full! Oh boy. Guess we’re going to get our exercise tonight!

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