A Pumpkin We Will Grow

First pumpkin

First Pumpkin

We’ve grown pumpkins every summer for a decade.  Our first crop was a happy accident when my then four-year-old spilled a bag of squirrel food.  We swept up most of it, then kicked the rest off the path into the dirt.  Before you can say ‘boo!!!’ we ended up with five pumpkins.

To celebrate that tenth anniversary, we’re growing an all-volunteer crop this year too.  I feel a bit guilty when I walk by our little patch and realize I had next to nothing to do with it.

Earlier this year I popped the lid off of one of my composting bins and spied a pair of pumpkin seedlings.  I smiled, put the lid back on and went about my business.  The next time I checked the bin was full of seedlings!  Clearly they enjoyed the impromptu greenhouse effect, though the lack of light was a concern.  I left the lid ajar and before I could even think of transplanting them, the crop took off.

pumpkin plants in compost 3-15-2013 7-56-04 AM

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I prepared the garden bed intended for the crop and simply eased the entire contents of the compost bin over on its side, then into the bed.  I held my breath for a few days, hoping the trauma of being upended didn’t finish them off.  Instead, they continued to grow.

At last count, there are 11 little pumpkins growing on the various vines.  I’ve lost a few to snails and a critter with sharp teeth, but the remaining pumpkins look good.

2013, 07-03 4th of july fairy garden2

I’m a huge fan of all things Halloween, so growing pumpkins in the back yard brings me great joy.  After all these years I’m still in awe that one little seed can produce a vine that runs half the length of the house in three short months.  Beautiful yellow flowers give way to bountiful fruit.  Days shorten, vines brown and left standing is a bounty of orange goodness.

Do you have a summer tradition that brings you great joy?

You can check out my page Passionate about Pumpkins to see a decade of growing, displaying and my husband’s awesome carving.

18 thoughts on “A Pumpkin We Will Grow

  1. Isn’t it wonderful when something just grows without a fuss …….. !!
    I made pumpkin puree last week, froze most of it but made a pot of delicious soup – and a batch of pumpkin and walnut cookies [my sugar-free guilt-free sweet treat] which also freeze well and therefore don’t have to be eaten in one go …… We don’t do Halloween here, just eat ’em 🙂 Love the photos, and your wee boy, so cute!

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    • Thanks, Pauline. Those cookies sound delicious. Pumpkin has such a rich, unique flavor. I enjoy it as soup, pie and in cookies.

      My wee boy is 13 now. I still remember the day we took that photo. He was absolutely thrilled.

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  2. You’ll have a wonderful large crop this year! I’ve only grown pumpkins once before, but I love them – if I had the space, I would definitely plant them again. So versatile in cooking and baking…once autumn rolls around, I use them in everything. 🙂

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    • Do you like to bake, Sheryl? My husband is the cook in our house. I used to bake with my boys when they were small, but once they lost interest, I did too. I *love* eating though! 😉

      Pumpkins do take up lots of room. Ours spill out of the box and onto the pathway. They’re wrapping around one of the compost bins now.

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  3. Snap! They’re almost taking over your walk! Eleven pumpkins sound promising, I think Mike and the boys better start planning. I had so much fun last Halloween, I hope Deb invites me along again. My all time favourite pie is pumpkin and I read Pauline’s message about baking cookies, they’d be yummy too but I’m trying to avoid lots of treats at present and they’re only better frozen 😀 Little M looks absolutely angelic in that photo, such a sweetheart with his little garden gloves, it’s so cool you can pass the joy on to your kids.

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    • I’m convinced that if I sat still in the garden I could actually see them grow. (Just like my teenage boys who come out of their rooms seemingly taller every day!)

      I hope you and Deb get to celebrate together, too. I loved your mime costumes.

      I will pass on your kind words to M. He loved gardening for years and years. I hope he’ll regain an interest when he’s older. He plants flowers in his digital game…that’s something. 😉

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      • Virtual Gardener! He might be on to something there. No dirty finger nails or ruby knees. Like the Holo Deck on Star Trek. The weather would always be perfect and you’d never have to water. The way things change so fast, I wouldn’t doubt if we could be seeing it in our time.
        Thanks for the nice compliment on the Mime Costumes, they were pretty last minute. I can’t imagine what you’ll do next, I hope Deb and I can plant something, I had so much fun.

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        • ‘Ruby knees!’ I love that description. I’ve never heard it before but it is dead on. Thanks for sharing that little morsel.

          Wouldn’t that Holo Deck be fun? I loved that creation, too.

          If those were last minute costumes, than I’m mighty impressed. They were adorable. I remember your Mary Poppins pumpkin, too. I’m still sorting out this year’s costume in my head. Better get too it.

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  4. Fall may just be my favorite time of year (after spring, summer, and winter … I confess, I like all seasons). How fun to read and think about fall in the middle of the summer! Love the photo of your son 🙂

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    • Thanks, LB. He was so delighted with that first pumpkin. I’ll never forget it.

      Every year it’s a toss up for me: spring or fall, fall or spring. They’re both wonderful seasons when you’re a gardener. Winter and summer have their place too, so I guess like you I can find something to recommend all seasons. But oh the smell of all, the crackling leaves and pumpkins! ♥

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  5. Cool pumpkins! Growing anything brings me great joy but I particularly enjoy growing rocket potatoes because my mum & dad grew them for years so I grew up with the taste and still to this day my mum buys me the seed potatoes as a gift. The other is my sugar plum tomatoes for the same reason but now I save my own seeds but propagate them in the heated propagater that my mum bought me. Sentimental I guess and I just love the taste of both. I’ve been growing them longer than any other crop 🙂

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    • It’s wonderful to grow sentimental crops. Food, especially food we grow, is part of our heritage. I still remember the cherry tomatoes from our garden in Canada many years ago. They evoke wonderful memories. How sweet that your mum still buys you seed potatoes. She sounds like my kind of gal!

      I’ve not heard the term ‘rocket potatoes’ before. I’ll have to go look that one up.

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