In which a book inspires me, and everything looks nicer with pumpkins

The weather today is wet and blustery, so it's good that we took advantage
of calmer climes last weekend to harvest the pumpkins!

Floofs and gourds

I've always absurdly loved pumpkins, and have been known to pull the truck off the road to photograph pumpkin fields, piles of pumpkins at roadside stands, and even the contents of pumpkin boxes at the grocery store.

The Jack O'Lanterns got huge this year, but many of them stayed green

 I got hooked on growing Giant Pumpkins after reading a teen book:  Squashed  by Joan Bauer.  

Monica's JRT Ripley poses with the largest punk.
Photo by M. Bretherton

The book's plot sounds kind of silly:  a young teen girl would like to have a boyfriend, but she's pretty sure that nobody will ever understand her enthusiasm for growing Giant Pumpkins*

Roll-o-Dex leaves his wheelchair behind for a moment
to enjoy the view from the top of the pumpkin pile.
Photo by M. Bretherton

The reader is pretty sure that Ellie will never find romance too...until she goes to a birthday party and meets a boy obsessed with growing hybrid corn.    Courtship ensues.

Monica's "city punks" 

 It's a cute book, and after reading it, I decided to try growing the enormous variety of my favorite vegetables.

*There's pumpkins, and then there's Giant Pumpkins.
Dill's Atlantic Giant seeds produce the world-breaker squashes
(they are not true pumpkins, but they are truly enormous).  

Some years, the produce is more spectacular than others.  Our first year on the farm, the whole garden was puny, including the "Giant" pumpkins.

This year, we got several truck-loads of big squash!

"The Dawgs," a grunge rock band.  We'll use this as the cover photo
if they ever release an album.

It was handy to have Dex's wheelchair ramp to use as a loading tool!

The medium-sized pumpkins needed two people to move them--
it took all three of us to move the biggest.

Some of the pumpkins were delivered to neighbors.  "Reverse Trick-or-Treating" is one of my favorite games.

My neighbors weren't home when I delivered this, so I
posted the photo on Facebook and tagged them. 

Of course, we didn't give them ALL away!  

A pretty tableau under the maple tree in the front yard...but it's missing something

It's important to keep a few punks here at home, too!

Pretty dogs, pretty pumpkins


  1. I have to ask - what do you do with them? Do you roast the seeds, etc. or are they just for decoration? Either way, it's definitely an impressive haul!

    1. The largest are for decoration. Sometimes we carve them, but usually not. We'll carve the Jack o'Lanterns this year, and probably make soup and seeds from the others. When they start to fall apart, we feed them to the hens, which makes them lay eggs with fabulously orange yolks all winter!

    2. I forgot all about your hens - they are such great little garbage disposals! And thanks for the reply, I just couldn't imagine how you were able to use them all.

  2. We've tried our hand at growing giant pumpkins a few times, this year we were too short on water to spare it but maybe next season.


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