Last Harvest – Pumpkins

After pulling up the pumpkins in spring due to cross-pollination and then cleaning them out due to the hailstorm, they now went through snow which devastated the plants. But look! We still managed to get over 50 pumpkins? That’s 3 growing cycles the plants went through in this areas short growing season! Clearly squash plants like our environment!

Pumpkins are the last item to harvest for the 2018 growing season. Nothing else survived the October snow except our wintering over carrots which are now in a covered tunnel. If you didn’t see the post on the tunnels you can see how well they wintered over last year. Search on tunnel.

So what are the sales figures for the year? Let’s just say we lost this year. The hailstorm took it’s toll. The bees swarmed and either left or died last year so we are not able to harvest any honey this year. The new bees we got in the spring need to build up their stores for the winter.

I also need to personally take the blame on lost sales on eggs. We have had these chickens for over 2 years and I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them to bring in fresh new egg layers. I had convinced myself that they would continue to lay enough to cover our egg customers and I was wrong. Not only did they slow down they also started laying strange shaped eggs and started to have physical difficulties. Kind of like a woman in menopause, but unfortunately a chickens egg laying system can be fatal when they don’t work properly and that was the case here. We are starting to lose chickens to old age issues. Lesson learned. New chicks are in order for next year.

See what’s left of the garden on the farm’s YouTube Channel:

Pie Pumpkins For Fun

I can’t tell you how many times family asked me to grow pumpkins so they could make pumpkin everything in the fall. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and also a number of savory dishes too. So we agreed to grow a few pumpkins this year. Turned out to be a few over 20!

First thing learned is that pumpkin plants take a lot of space! Even when they are only pie pumpkin size the vines and leaves are huge. Another thing learned was that you have to leave a ripening pumpkin on the vine a lot longer than you think. It can look ripe on the outside but on the inside it’s not quite done. They were truly ripe in October. Of course there were a few stragglers that were still green at that time but they weren’t going to ripen before frost anyway.

Did you know that you should never grab a pumpkin by the stem? If not, you know now. That results in small cracks  around the base of the stem that open it up for potential rot. You should also store it on a piece of paper. It reduces the chance of condensation which also increases your chance of rot.

After making a pumpkin pie with the couple pumpkins we saved for ourselves, we loved the results so collected seeds for next year.