This year we did not plant pumpkins at all. We planted tomatoes, butternut and acorn squash, black eyed peas, brussel sprouts, kale, celery, jalapeno and bell peppers, basil and cucumbers (which the gophers really, really liked). We also enjoyed some wild plums and dewberries, wild grapes, which we made into jelly and even wine, and some blueberries and blackberries that are still growing in the garden.
But we did not plant pumpkins.
Some of the best things in life are not planned, or even wanted at first, and yet if we let them, just let them be and help them, help them along, they can become the most treasured.
I often feed the chickens spoiled things and the melon and squash seeds, it must have been from that, that this pumpkin plant began, all on it’s own, just outside the chicken run that wraps around our vegetable garden. It began pretty late , sometime in July if I remember correctly, and so we didn’t expect it to produce many, if any pumpkins, before it got too hot in the summer. But I was watering the vegetable garden with a sprinkler that sprayed a wide area in the garden and some outside of the garden and the pumpkin plant thrived. All-summer-long and even into the fall too. We canned a-lot of pumpkin back in late summer when we thought we were nearing the end of our pumpkin harvest and there was no room in the kitchen for anything else. (note: pumpkin/squash must be canned with a pressure canner)
We found a delicious honey pumpkin pie recipe, that you can find <here>, that is a-maz-ingly delicious, to use up some of our pumpkin. We also have an old favorite pumpkin soup recipe that we are looking forward to having again. Today I am making a Pumpkin Bundt Cake which we have not tried yet, for my Oldest sons birthday. He absolutely loves pumpkin anything, as do I, so we are looking forward to tasting this new recipe that we found <here>.
Since it is my oldest sons birthday today and pumpkin is his favorite vegetable, and since I noticed today that there were an abundance of pumpkins still growing on the vine. I decided to ask Liam to pick the rest of the pumpkins that were on the vine, and had a little orange on them. I told him I’d give him a “coin” for each pumpkin he picked.
He found enough for Joey to have one for each year he has been alive (29) and one to spare!
From one pumpkin plant!
We probably canned close to that many a few months ago, from the same plant!
Pumpkins can be left on the vine to ripen further, but once they begin to turn orange, they don’t get any larger and, if picked, can be saved from gophers, bugs and the elements, and they will complete the ripening process on their own. You see the nutrients that it has stored up in its stem continue to feed it for the remainder of the ripening process. The nutrients from the main tap root that were delivered to the pumpkin stem by the vine. This got me to thinking about how, like pumpkins, we are effected and changed, by our experiences, our friends, the shows we watch and the books we read, even the pictures we look at and the voices that we listen to, long after we have severed ties, turned off the movie, or closed the book.
It really matters what we give our attention to, it effects our attitudes, our perception of others, and ourselves, the way we treat others and so much more. I want to be careful who and what I tap into and give my attention to. I want to be careful and intentional about what I absorb, to be sure it will effect me in ways that help me become the person I want to be, and nothing else.
It also got me thinking about how grateful that I am for the people who have plugged into me, who have invested in me, cared about me and just been my friend. People who effect me in ways that help me become a better person, the kind of person I want to be.
It also got me to thinking how thankful that I am for Joey. You see Joey was unexpected too an unexpected surprise, when I was only 15. I am so thankful for the friends that encouraged me, plugged into me and helped me to carry him and give him life. I am thankful for all of the friends that helped me to be a better mother to him and all of the those that followed. I am thankful for Joey, he is a true treasure to me. I am thankful for his wisdom, his tender spirit and how he was taught me to be more considerate and understanding. I am thankful for all of the help that Joey is to me, with his younger brothers and all of the things on the farm right now, while he is living with us.
And I am thankful for abundant and overflowing pumpkins! Especially on his birthday!
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Volunteers are so prolific at times. I’ve only ever successfully grown pumpkins on accident. Other squashed on purpose many times, but pumpkins… they do their own thing over here.