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A Window On My World

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Thursday, August 06, 2009


Yep.... they are pumpkins! It's a pumpkin patch, Charlie Brown, no doubt about it now! Makes me think of Harry Potter, too; you know: the pitchers of pumpkin juice on the dining tables.

When it came up this year, there were two seedlings up against each other. I pulled the weaker one, so this one really took off and grew, even though it is cheek-to-jowl with the Anise Hyssop,...

(Seen below to the right of blossoms -- you may need to click on photo and enlarge to be able to see the blue flowers on the Hyssop. Butterflies love it.)

and white half-runner string beans are growing all over it,

(Notice in the right upper quadrant, Black-eyed Susans down the path in the distance.)

(The first harvest in a large bowl.)

and my seed radishes are trying to bloom up through it.

(Good thing I still have a bumper crop of seeds left from last year.)

On her blog Suzanne McMinn gives a recipe for stuffing and frying the big beautiful yellow blossoms, as well as, those of squash. By not doing so, I suppose I am letting food go to waste, but we do not eat much fried food anymore. I may try it just once to experience how they taste. I could use the female flowers, too, as I do not want any more pumpkins. However, in spite of all my snipping and pruning, one got past me. (I wonder if young pumpkins are edible?)

If more pumpkins are wanted, use the male flowers, for only a few are needed to pollinate the females. If no more pumpkins are wanted, use the female flowers, as well. Suzanne tells how to prepare them for cooking.

Can you believe so much is growing in the small space of one Japanese tomato ring?! It sits atop where a tree used to be. Over the years the tree's remains have rotted and other plants almost jump into it, because they love it so. And with so much rain it is not unusual to see toadstools growing along the root runs. Too bad they are not edible, too, but I wouldn't touch them, much less, eat them!

Not growing tomatoes this year. After three years, it was time to give that area of soil a rest from tomatoes, and their cousins, and potential diseases. Seems to have been well timed.

Earlier this week, in our local newspaper there is an article about the potato-famine fungus showing up in the Eastern United States including Kentucky. It is the same one that caused the Irish potato famine of the late 1840's. In this area it is showing up on tomatoes. Oh, NO! Not tomatoes!! Sorry, but, "Yes". At risk are plants of that family (Night Shade family): potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc., even weeds such as bittersweet nightshade.

This year weather conditions have been conducive to the growth of Phytophthora infestans. Phytophthora is Latin for "plant destroyer", and this plant destroyer likes cool, wet weather, exactly what our autumn, winter, spring and summer have been.

Photos posted by Cornell University to help gardeners recognize the disease are found here. Bittersweet nightshade is the last photo low on the page. I do not have that nightshade, but I do have horse nettle and a few others that are susceptible to becoming hosts. Good luck with yours!


Anonymous said...

The pumpkins are quite decorative in your garden. That is a lot of pumpking pie. I always buy pumpkins for decoration in the fall. I never considered growing them because of space. That isn't a problem now. I may try it.

CiNdEe said...

I love your pumpkins!
We have tomatoes here and peppers. No problems so far. Its been HOT and DRY though so that is probably why!

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbee !
Great pumpkins - I didn't think 'Merikans' ate pumpkins? Only used them for lanterns at halloween.
Anyway, I agree with Donna, there's a lot of pumpkin pies there. You can pick 'em, but leave the stalk attached.
In OZ, we eat a lot of pumpkin, squash etc, but different varieties. One of my favourite veges, actually. Loads of Iron.
Good luck.

Sunita said...

Those pumpkins look so colourful! Bright orange popping up in the middle of lovely green. I would grow it just for the way it looks if for nothing else :)
We make a pumkin 'halwa' with excess pumpkins. Very tasty, extra sweet and adds too many tires around the middle. But definitely worth a taste ;)

GardenJoy4Me said...

Barbee I am in love with your pumpkin patch girl ! : )
They are gorgeous .. being a Halloween nut they have given me a shot in the arm for that Halloween mood !!LOL

Barbee' said...

Hello Donna, I read that they do not like acidic soil. The back 2/3rds of this property used to be a limestone quarry, maybe that is why they do so well here. They are really easy and fun to try. Thank you for stopping by, and for your comment.

Cindee, thank you! Your hot and dry California climate should continue to defeat that disease. It is the eastern part of the country that is "contaminated". I miss having our own tomato and pepper plants. Eat a tomato for me... topped with cottage cheese. (?)

Hi there, Bob, Yep, we Merikans eat pumpkin. They are nutritious. Pie is my favorite, but there are also pumpkin bread, and soups. Some soups are served in the hollowed-out pumpkin that has been baked and some of the flesh is scooped up with the soup as it is transferred to individual bowls. Now, I have never done that, but I have read recipes where other people have done so. As you mentioned, there are so many different varieties. One of my grandmothers actually did not use pumpkin to make her pies. She liked the large, green striped, bulb-shaped pumpkin/winter squash (cushaw squash). I read that their
vigorous vines are resistant to squash vine borer. That seems intriguing. Thanks! I'll eat a pie for you. (Or, maybe just a small tart.)

Sunita, I have to admit that we have greatly enjoyed the views of the pretty things, and watching them grow and change color. I had never heard of pumkin 'halwa', so I Googled it and read a recipe. Sounds wonderful, but I see what you mean about the calories. I could make it if I had several people to help eat it, but for just the two of us it would be dangerous :) we would outgrow our clothes.

Joy! I am soooooo glad you came by. I thought of you and hoped you would see the post. I even thought of giving you a nudge to come over, but then thought better of it. The previous post was about them, also. Halloween isn't far off. Until then, you are welcome to sit in my patch. Bring a sun hat. I'll provide the chair and cool drink. I think the pumpkins would enjoy your company, and you could talk to them, and they might be encouraged to grow larger.

Norvona Jackson said...

Oh B please add another chair to the pumpkin patch so that I may sit with Joy and listen to the pumpkins ‘talk’ of Halloween! I too would grow them for the wonderful color, even if I did not love pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, the to-die-for holiday pumpkin roll, and....well, you get the idea. :-)
Have I told you lately how much I enjoy your garden? Well, I do!! Please keep posting!

Mo said...

Gorgeous looking pumpkin patch! :)

Barbee' said...

Norvona, your chair is waiting! I had never heard of pumpkin roll, so I Googled some recipes, and WOW! that sounds good. Lead me not into temptation! Thank you for the wonderful positive feedback. I needed that :) Now, which kind of cool drink will you be wanting in the pumpkin patch? They say Kentucky mint juleps taste nasty, but I could find a recipe...

Hi there, Mo, thank you, thank you. Funny how things turn out. We have enjoyed it so much, but I never would have planted it, especially there. But, if it were off down the hill, we wouldn't be able to see and enjoy it so much.

Mo said...

Dear Barbee,
Thank you for your sweet and wise comments about my (soon to be one day I hope), chickens. I am so sorry you had to give up your dream! life is often about losses I think, and coming to terms with them, but it is never easy. My heart is with you. x

Barbee' said...

Thank you, Mo, your comment is so thoughtful. I agree with you about life and its challenges testing us to see how we handle them. I hope I have passed the test. :)

Sue said...

Hi Barbee, Thank you for your nice comment on my blog. I'm thinking I've been here before, though, because of your comment about your favorite TV show. After enjoying some episodes on TV, we bought a DVD set of the whole series. We try to catch movies and such that Dame Dench is in. There was a movie we watched recently where she and her sister live together, and a young shipwrecked man trying to get to America is washed ashore at their place. It was pretty good.

Anyway, I like your blog and website. I didn't see how to leave any comments there. I don't think I've read the whole poem about God and gardening. I like it!

I'll have to check out the disease identification site. I have a bunch of potatoes in my garden across the street that are dying back. I don't think it's because of that disease, but I should check to make sure.

Your pumpkins are looking great! What fun! I am trying some bush winter squash and cantaloupes. The squash is doing well, but the cantaloupe plants are just starting to grow.

elizabethm said...

I am so impressed with your pumpkins. They are just beautful. My squash are tiny and pale green, just not the same!

Barbee' said...

Sue, I appreciate your friendly, chatty comment. Yes, now I remember! I think we communicated at that time about the TV show. We recently bought a DVD set, too, and at that time I thought of you and wished you had a set. So glad to learn that you do. I saw that movie, too. I know it was not a great movie, but I enjoyed it very much. I think you and I are kindred spirits, as Anne of Green Gables used to say.

About my website: true, most sections do not have comments turned on, a few categories do, artistic license, I suppose. I am glad you found something you enjoyed. I guess there aren't any bush varieties of pumpkin, some times I wish it were just a bush! We have cut off so much, even lengths that had baby pumpkins on them.

Elizabethm, thank you! I almost wish my pumpkins were squash. We eat more squash than we do pumpkins. Thank you for visiting and commenting, too.

Lzyjo said...

I just love the sight of bright orange pumpkins popping out of the green. I've never grown them, but I think I should make it a priority!

Barbee' said...

Lzyjo, we are a little over 4 inches above average in rain this summer. It has made the grassy lawns and yards so nice and green. That has contributed to the lovely contrast between the pumpkins and the grass. We have enjoyed it very much.