It all started from one sad little pumpkin that had spent its better days in Room 8 at the Daycare. After being handled, poked, painted and scarred by a room full of four -year olds, my daughter, the teacher, brought the drooping fruit back to our garden compost for its final resting place. And there it sat through the lingering, cold winter.
Long about mid June, we noticed a row of nicely spaced sprouts filling a row in our garden. We were pretty sure they weren’t weeds, so we left them in their spots to await further development. All through the summer, I posted pictures of the plants’ growth. At one time, there was a rather long-standing debate between those who thought the fledgling sprouts were squash and those who were convinced they were pumpkins.
Eventually small, green globes began to form and the squash camp became silent (although some staunch squash-ites insisted the plant was a rare form of squash). Finally, as the green balls began to become shaded with orange, we all knew that the discarded daycare pumpkin had given birth to many healthy plants.
At this point, we have fifteen small to medium sized pumpkins. I have been searching for creative ways to use these unexpected gifts. Given the frantic pace of the life of a teacher in September, I think my best bet is to steam, puree and freeze them for use on those long anticipated mid-winter snow days!