Surprise Pumpkins!

| 6/25/2012 9:48:37 PM

Tags: pumpkins, gardening, Kristina Estis,

Kristina head shotHave you ever driven home, and found yourself unable to remember the drive?  Thats how I feel, like this year is passing me by.  Crazy work hours, mild yet seemingly endless sickness in the family, and a demanding class schedule have set me far behind on my resolutions for the year.  The excuses are easier to come by than the time.  In spite of all the reasons I can't, this morning I found a sunny orange surprise to remind me why I have to make time for the life I love. 

Last September I bought a few pumpkins to decorate with, and they kept beautifully through the Fall and Winter.  Being the sporting stepmother that I am, I agreed to let Brady smash them into tiny pieces around New Years.  The chickens were thrilled about their New Years supper and ate every bit of the flesh but the skins, leaving paper thin shells behind.  I threw the skins into the compost (along with the litter from the coop) and never gave it a second thought. 

Now, six months later I notice thick vines growing out of the back of the compost pile, running out and around the box.  Lo and behold I see six tiny green gourds and one fat orange pumpkin!  I think I laughed out loud!  In all the years of gardening I have never been able to grow pumpkins.  Yet here in my yard, out of scraps and chicken poop, is a strong and thriving pumpkin sprawling its way across the grass!  A little orange reminder that it doesn't take to much time (or any, in some cases!) to create the home and life of my dreams!

The cheerful surprise of yellow blossoms and shiny orange pumpkins has doubled my resolve to get up a little earlier, work a little harder, and get a lot dirtier!

6/26/2012 6:36:57 PM

Kristina, sometimes the volunteers are the best finds, aren't they? I found five volunteer Rutgers tomato plants in the raised garden bed from last year when I was cleaning it up this spring. I left them grow a bit and transplanted them into the tomato raised bed for this year. They are the best ever. They are toughest and strongest looking of all the plants in the garden. I think this fall I am going to experiment with just pulling out the vines and piling all the mushy tomatoes in the bed for the winter. Maybe next spring I'll have big crop of volunteer tomatoes for transplanting. I tried that will carrot seed one year a few decades ago and in the spring I had the best carrots that I've ever grown. I'm not sure why I didn't do it again. Have a great day in the garden.

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