Monday, April 20, 2009

Dreams of a Pumpkin Patch...

Ever since I was 12, I have wanted a pumpkin patch. Grade-school field trips to Windmill Farms fueled my fascination with pumpkins, but I didn't know that it was even possible to grow pumpkins in back yard gardens until I was 12, when I picked up a book of teenage love poems by Ralph Fletcher. There was one poem in particular about two kids who fell in love planting pumpkins together in a back yard. They broke up, and the one kid had to watch the pumpkins grow big and round in his back yard, long after his young lover had left him. I guess it's yet another testimony that pumpkins will grow heartily and relentlessly anywhere- surviving even unrequited love! Which is good news for me, because I know nothing about gardening, and my only wish for this Fall is to be able to look out my back window one night and see big fat pumpkins glowing brightly in the twilight. I love pumpkins. I love everything about them!

I bought a little cup of pumpkin seeds and seed starting soil from Lowe's about a week ago. It was like a little seed starting kit for kids, the kind just for them to see how plants sprout, then the parents toss them, you know? I thought for sure they were just baby pumpkin gourds. Turns out they're real pumpkins, and there are 4 of them sprouting in a Dixie cup on my kitchen counter as I sit here and type this. They are so crowded; I need to transplant them ASAP. It just might break my heart if my first pumpkins don't survive. I think I'll stop somewhere on my way home and pick up a little rake and trowel. I need to clear out some space to make some little mounds in which to plant them. I really hope they thrive. I think they will. Jason (the farm boy) said that his family had pumpkins when they lived on the farm and that no matter what they did they sprouted every year. That's good. I can't think of anything (except maybe painting and decorating our new house) that would make me happier than having a little pumpkin patch. It is my childhood dream! Of course I also have sweet corn, green beans, cucumbers, Chinese giant red peppers, California wonder green peppers, and homestead tomatoes to plant. I really need to get to work!

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