Changing Seasons: The Pumpkin Knows

Vegetable Garden April

Vegetable Garden April 25, 2012

According to the sun, summer doesn’t end for another four weeks. It draws to a close, today, however for the 12 year-old in the house.  He reluctantly returns to school tomorrow.

Autumnal Equinox arrives September 22nd at 10:49 am EDT. The changing of the seasons in our sunny state are easy to miss. My son will wear shorts to school for several more months, and the rain doesn’t arrive till late October.

The Pumpkin Knows

Back in April, a small pumpkin seed knew it was time to grow. Genetic information, stored in that tiny seed pronounced that the soil and sun were a go. The seed pushed a pair of tender leaves up through the earth while setting down roots below. True leaves followed, right on schedule and within weeks the small plant was a vine. Tendrils curled out, looking for support, knowing the vine would grow and grow. Magnificent yellow flowers appeared, first male than female. They had a short window of time to attract a bee before curling up for the night. The first few pumpkins formed on the vine, but shriveled and died within days. Eventually the vines set larger fruit, first green, then yellow and now orange.

As the fruit matures, the once tiny plant sends the last of its energy directly to the pumpkins. It’s time for the plant to wither and die with the genetic understanding of a job well done. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work in the real world, but boy does it work in the garden. One small seed produces numerous edible flowers, then goes on to produce several jaw-dropping gourd-like squash. Each pumpkin holds hundreds of seeds, enough to eat and plant the following season. Pumpkins produce sweet flesh for cooking and baking. Sturdy, colorful pumpkin shells line windows and porches on Halloween, carved to perfection.

August Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden, August 25, 2012

The season is changing
The pumpkin knows
tiny seeds become heavy gourds,
vines turn brown
their cycle complete;
Jack O’Lanterns grin
at Trick-or-Treater’s feet.

-A. Milner

8 thoughts on “Changing Seasons: The Pumpkin Knows

  1. Alys, you’ve outdoon yourself! I love your little poem. Just look at that bright orange spot in your garden. I never really stopped to think about it, but yah Woowee, that little seed does amazing things. Hope the first day of school went smoothly!

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    • Awwww. Thank you, Boomdee. It came out of nowhere yesterday.

      My young man was excited to go greet his friends, so he left with a bounce in his step. It’s week two for my teenage son. Having staggered start dates ended up working out well. It’s weird having an empty house after a full summer of boys and their friends. Lots to do though, so the day will fly. I’m off to the garden center after losing the fight with my garden sheers (and the back ups). I tried sharpening them and only made it worse. I hope you have a pleasant day.

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      • That’s awesome that your little guy is excited about going back. Hope your trip to the garden center was a success. I’ve been out all day but got little accomplished….line up’s everywhere with ‘back to school’ shoppers, a bit of a frenzy this week.

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  2. I love reading about the weather and seasons in other countries… England has had it’s wettest year since records began and we’re already heading into Autumn. It makes for interesting gardening though and I’d rather be too wet than too dry and on fire!!
    Nature is magical and it amazes me too when plants just know when and how to grow. Your pumpkins sound delightful x

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    • I too am finding it interesting reading blogs from several different countries. I follow a few in England, a few in Canada, one in Australia and one other that escapes me now.

      I too prefer cool, damp weather over the heat. I’ve been reading about the heavy duty rains you’ve had. Just crazy.

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