MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — This weekend and next area pumpkin patches will be packed with pickers.

CBS2’s Dave Carlin went to Wightman’s Farms in Morristown, New Jersey where he met fourth grader Ailish Gutshall, of Summit, with her mother and her best friend’s family.

Her goal?

“Spend the whole day with my friends, and I have fun today,” she said.

They went for a hayride and took in some great views before reaching the pumpkin patch.

Gutshall picked out the perfect pumpkin for painting.

“I painted a cat on a pumpkin once,” she told Carlin.

She pointed out one that looked like it had been eaten by a squirrel.

The head farmer, Adam Costello, agreed and said the squirrels and chipmunks love the pumpkins.

“If you hit it with a little bit of pledge, for some reason they don’t like how it tastes so they leave it alone a little longer,” he said.

He advised people to look for a dark orange color, strong green stem and nothing mushy. And to make them last longer, don’t carve them too soon.

The group moved on to try the farm’s pumpkin slingshot.

Gutshall said she has some elaborate plans for carving hers.

“Happy Halloween and a design next to it like a little puppy!” she said.

Some stores sell bleach-based products that promise to extend the life of your carved pumpkins. The farmers at Wightman’s said those could give your pumpkin an extra week or two.

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