Last October, we took a vacation right before Halloween. When we returned and went to the store in search of a pumpkin to carve, we were dismayed to discover that all of our local grocery stores were out of large pumpkins! We stopped at a small farmstand nearby instead, where my son found this beauty:
It was quite heavy and a bluish-green color. I balked at first, when I saw the $30 price tag. However, the woman who was working there assured me that it was very good for cooking, hence the price. I ended up with a freezer that was full of beautiful, dark orange pumpkin flesh that I used to make lots of pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie.
I also saved some of the seeds by fermenting them.
You can read about the process to do that here. When they float on the surface of the water like this, it means they are viable seeds.
In the spring, we started some of the seeds indoors and transplanted them to the garden when the plants were big enough. I searched online to figure out what kind of pumpkin it was, and it appears to be a Jarrahdale pumpkin.
I also started some regular pumpkin seeds that I bought, but the Jarrahdale seeds that I saved grew much more robust plants. Unfortunately, we had an unusually hot and rainy summer. While we were camping for a week in July, the above plants succumbed to what appeared to be powdery mildew. I planted some more seeds, outdoors this time, and grew several more plants. Then, one day, I discovered this:
I have my doubts as to whether it will have time to fully develop before it gets too cold, as we are in October now. The pumpkin plants seem happier than they did in the oppressive heat, though. I’ve tried not to meddle with these plants too much, although I did break the remaining flowers off this plant today, in the hopes that it will put its energy into the baby pumpkin instead.
In any event, this has been a fun project. I may have to visit that farmstand again this year, so I can make more pumpkin soup soon!