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Minnesota woman grows pink pumpkins to help in the fight against breast cancer

Amanda Syverson of Fertile, Minn., grew pink pumpkins to support breast cancer research. She says she had never grown a pumpkin before taking on the fundraising effort.

FERTILE, Minn. – Despite being an avid gardener, Amanda Syverson had never grown a pumpkin until she heard about pink pumpkins.

Her mom, whose best friend is a breast cancer survivor, told Syverson about the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, started in 2012 to help in the fight against breast cancer.

Growers contract with the foundation to raise and sell Porcelain Doll Pink Pumpkins, a natural hybrid with a pale pink exterior. The foundation donates proceeds from those pumpkin sales to organizations doing breast cancer research.

The foundation’s website lists 13 growers in Minnesota and two in western North Dakota. The foundation also works with FFA and 4-H chapters, including three in Minnesota and one in Dickinson, N.D.

Syverson, who manages a grocery store, decided to use her passion for growing things to help the cause. She ordered 100 Porcelain Doll seeds. Although only half the plants took off, she grew about 200 of the squarish pumpkins on land where she and her husband ride the Arabian horses they raise.

She spread word through a Facebook group, and quickly unloaded most of her harvest, including a pick-up load she parked outside the Target store in Moorhead one Friday.

The pumpkins sold for $5 for small, $7.50 for medium and $10 for large.

Growers are asked to give a percentage of their sales to the foundation, but Syverson says she will donate all her proceeds. She thinks her donations will total about $1,500.

Syverson, 31, plans to expand her plantings next year, and will team up with a breast cancer survivor from Barnesville, Minn., who bought 30 of her pink pumpkins this year.

Syverson says the pumpkins grow quickly, and have a smooth skin. She’s waiting to hear from some local bakers how they taste.

Sherri Richards | Forum News Service

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