Discover|Partner Stories

Sterino Farms

A Beautiful Pumpkin Partnership

We’ve carved out a pretty special relationship with Jake Sterino.

A fourth-generation Puyallup Valley farmer, Jake is a forward thinker who’s always willing to take chances with us—to experiment, grow new and different varieties of fresh foods just for our markets, and find unexpected ways to delight you with the things he can coax out of our local earth.

Take pumpkins, for instance. We count on Sterino to bring us the best pumpkins and ornamental gourds out there, and he delivers. In fact, he delivers five semis full of them initially, turning our markets into the annual explosion of color that announces fall’s arrival every year.

This year, because we’ve had so much sun, you’ll see even richer fall colors in our markets than usual, since sunlight really pumps up the orange tones of a pumpkin as it grows. And while less rain typically yields pumpkins with less plumpness, our decades-long partnership with Sterino gets us the pick of the patches. And we want the biggest ones. The beautifully shaped kind, with those thick, heavy stems we love.

But the real fun of getting pumpkins from Jake Sterino Farms is the interesting new varieties that turn up every autumn. Because Jake Sterino has great relationships with seed growers, he buys lots and lots of seeds, and together we try a lot of things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but we succeed or fail together.

Like wedding dresses and holiday trees, there’s a right pumpkin for every person, and when you come face to face with your pumpkin soulmate, you’ll know it. Our Produce Specialist Jim Foley has a soft spot for a deep orange pumpkin with a really nice stem on it. “I’m not looking for perfection. I like a pumpkin with imperfections I can use when I’m carving,” Jim says. “Sometimes they have a big smile on them.” With pumpkins and gourds in all shapes and colors—from White Ghost to Black Kat, Pink Doll and Blue Doll, green and yellow striped American Tondo, nubbly skinned Warty Goblin to the classic storybook style Cinderellas and Fairy Tale varieties—you’re going to find the one that makes you smile, too.

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