Pumpkins, Gourds and Squash

| 10/24/2008 4:33:45 PM

For the past month the pumpkin farms near and far are in full swing! Carnival rides, petting zoos, haunted houses, apple cider and homemade fudge … fall fun at its best! The many different varieties of pumpkins – miniature, white and striped, to name a few – are quite different from what I remember growing up. We would shop for our one pumpkin (maybe two) and the family would make an event of carving the design and roasting the seeds. In recent years, I have enjoyed painting designs on the pumpkins and have expanded my designs to include a few gourds. This year I approached the pumpkin farm differently.

Ideas abound

This time around, I was looking for unique pumpkins to grow next year in the garden, and I found a few.

Unique looks for next year

Healthy fall pumpkin 

I also became quite fascinated with gourds and more so now that I actually have some drying.

11/10/2008 2:18:10 PM

We are still having fun finding and eating winter squash - next year it will be from our own garden! Cindy, I did notice the larger the patti-pan were the tougher they were to eat - so smaller is definitely better. I have seen the Turk's Tuban in catalogs Lori, not sure if I missed them in the stores - I will pay closer attention and grab one if I see one! Thanks!!!

11/6/2008 3:44:46 PM

Hi Debbie! We started planting pumpkins and gourds last year. I love having them. I am like a child when it comes time to pick them, running through the field saying things like,"look at this one", or "look at the cool colors on that one". It's kinda like being on a treasure hunt. We plant a lot of the varieties you've named here. We had the We Be Little and birdhouse gourds. We also had the Bush Delicata,Hubbard, and Sweet Dumpling. Have you ever seen the Turk's Turbans? They are very neat looking, and I'm sure you would love them. They have very bright colors, and make great fall decorations!

Cindy Murphy
10/27/2008 7:05:58 AM

Hi, Debbie. One of the things I enjoy in Autumn is all the pumpkins and gourds about at farm markets, and pumpkin patches. There is something so enticing when seeing those wonderful orbs of orange, and gourds in all different colors and textures. I can't seem to resist them, tend to go overboard when picking the quintessential pumpkin, and end up with more than I intended on getting.....which of course, leads to spending way more time carving them than I intended too. All the guts, out-of-season gourds that have finished their fall decorating usefulness end up in the compost pile, and because squash and gourds readily cross pollinate, I never know what oddity we'll end up the following year when vines inevitably sprout from the pile. This year we got a nice crop of mixed mini white, and orange pumpkins. In the garden we grew those yellow patti-pan summer squash you have pictured, instead of the zucchini we usually grow. The patti-pans are fun to stuff, and because like zucchini, we ended up with so many, I stuffed them with everything imaginable. A note on this type of squash: bigger is not better; the skins get really tough, and almost inedible. Have a gourd day. Get it? That's a "pun"kin.

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