It’s the end of the season for us Zone 4B growers. My faithful standby’s Lisa and Zina, who helped me plant this Spring, joined me for a day of garden cleanup. My dad also came out to help with landscaping around the house.
We pulled up all the plastic mulch and drip irrigation from the vegetable plot. Then we re-mulched the blueberries with fresh fallen pine needles, a great natural acidifier.
We also fenced the blueberries because they are easy targets for rabbits and deer during the lean winter months.
I didn’t end up liking the variety of strawberries we planted (Sparkle and Ft Laramie). So we pulled all the strawberry beds and I will re-plant my newly discovered favorite Jewel next year.
The other major project was weeding and re-mulching the apple orchard. Becca and, to a lesser extent, Ivar and Elsie helped with weeding and shoveling piles of wood chips around the base of each tree.
Everybody worked hard. But the pay was good. Everyone got to take home a free pumpkin.
Tonight was pumpkin carving night. We grew our own pumpkins this year which made the event a bit more special.
The pumpkin patch was planted on a whim, in a corner of the yard that was going to be reseeded with grass. It was an afterthought to the main garden. But it turns out the most successful part of our garden this year was the spot that got the least attention. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere.
Month after month we watched on as the vines grew by the foot, sprouting bright yellow flowers that dropped pumpkin after enormous pumpkin. By the end of the season we had about 18 pumpkins.
An early frost this year killed off several vines before the pumpkins fully matured so we had a couple of off-color pumpkins. Of course Ivar picked the green pumpkin when it was time to carve.
Ivar wasn’t a fan of the pumpkin guts. He hid under the table to keep his pepperoni pizza in its place.
We took turns tracing faces on the pumpkins and carving them out.
I lit some candles and set the pumpkins outside to show the kids what they looked like in the dark. They walked outside while I was setting the lids on top and started screaming: “Ahhhh!! Scary monster!!!” And then they ran around in circles and fumbled their way back into the house, giggling the whole way. Inside, I had to hold Ivar in my arms to get him to look at the pumpkins out the window. Even then he mostly hid below the window sill.
Good times and great memories for us all.