Why buy a pumpkin when you can grow one

This is the first year ever that we haven’t gone somewhere to pick and purchase pumpkins for carving on Hallowe’en.

At the end of June my youngest came home from school with a small pumpkin plant that he’d begun growing in the class. This year we were settled and had a proper bed where he could plant it and tend to it. It turned out to be the little pumpkin plant that could. By late summer it was practically knocking on the front door, having grown and travelled across the front bed, up onto the front porch and across to the door.

The plant ended up producing three pumpkins, two of which were wee little babies, one of which we harvested, dark green and glossy, several weeks ago. Over the past month the pumpkin continued maturing and by the time my son was ready to transform it into a jack-o-lantern last week, only some faint green tinges remained.

We collaborated on carving day: I cut the opening in the head, he scooped out most of the seeds and I handled the rest of the scraping, he drew the face and I did the cutting. It had to be cute. Tiny little eyes, sweet little mouth. This is the friendliest little jack-o-lantern. And here he is:

Homegrown jack-o-lantern with young child

He was joined by a second, slightly smaller and definitely more bashed-in looking specimen carved by my older son with his Scout troupe. Each boy had his pumpkin and felt ready for the big day.

Next year we’re planning to grow our own pumpkins from scratch now that we’re expanding our beds and will have room for these lovely space hoggers. We’ll definitely save a few seeds from this year’s success to include when it’s time to plant.

Just a note to say that I am participating in NaBloPoMo and will be posting every day in November.

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