Some pumpkins turn into coaches

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Today’s Sun drew me outside, lured me with promises of warmth. The sunshine and vivid blue skies looked so delicious. I had been feeling a bit down. Being reminded of not working as much as I would like sat heavy in my soul.

I had already caught up with my Words With Friends games; a task that gets priority. My smoothie of oatmeal, banana, blueberry, and peanut butter had satisfied my hunger with only a few bites, so I was ready to be doing something physical. I also knew that the Patriots weren’t playing until the afternoon. There was absolutely no reason to not go outside.

Typically I don’t spend much time in my vegetable garden after Summer has departed. I am a horrible gardener in terms of putting my garden to bed. I don’t do anything but walk away and let nature take its course.

When my garden is at its peak, it is typically jam-packed. The garden of 2013 was even more so, especially with squash. During the summer I had taken a few trips to Food For Lane County to donate surplus squash.

I don’t know how they do it, but squash can hide. There were so many times I would check a plant and find nothing, but the next day, a Zucchini would be impersonating a baseball bat. It isn’t until after the squash plants die that I realize how many squash I missed. 2013 was the year of the squash. I must have had at least three dozen volunteer squash plants come up. I also planted several, not knowing what variety the volunteer squash plants would be. I also planted pumpkin, though I think some of the volunteers were pumpkin.

Several weeks ago, I had been out in the garden and was totally amazed at how many squash and pumpkins were in my garden. Images of pumpkin pie danced in my head. I picked some squash and pumpkins and put them on my porch

But then it snowed, covering everything, including the ones on the porch. After the snow finally melted, I knew the veggies in the garden were going to be in trouble since the ones on the porch had become mush, though I was able to salvage a few, and I did manage a couple of pumpkin pies and baked pumpkin seeds.

I avoided my garden. When I took the compost out, I refused to look. I knew it was going to be painful.


But today’s Sun bolstered my courage and I finally took a tour. I was hard to see that my garden had transformed into a squash and pumpkin cemetery. Some pumpkins were the biggest I had ever grown. Some of the squash were done I hadn’t eaten in a long time, like hubbard and sweet meat. I felt regret for not getting around to picking them


The great thing about the sun is it is very hard for me to stay depressed or sad. In the center of my  garden, where an old plum tree had fallen a few years ago, the treec stump was covered wiblackberry vines. Armed with pick axe and clippers, I set out to clear the area. I wasn’t too surprised when I found some  solid squash and pumpkins hidden in the vines, protected from the elements. After filling up my yard debris bucket with these blackberry vines, I brought in one of the squash survivor, a sweet meat, for dinner which went a long way to alleviating my guilt for allowing this good food to spoil.

This guilt of letting food spoil nags me is constant. I love to  garden, and I always grow more than I need, especially since I don’t have the  heart to pull out volunteer starts, but I don’t like to can or preserve. I made pickles once, and they came out really good, but I also cracked the ceramic stovetop doing so.

The other day while ordering from Harry & David, the woman asked me if I wanted to buy some pears on sale. I live pears, but I immediately thought of all the pears that fell that I didn’t eat. I bought a food dryer and did dry some apples and pears, but the guilt of letting so many decompose kept me from buying any new ones.

Perhaps I need to start a 12-step program fire people who let food rot. Meanwhile, I am starting to spread the pumpkin and squash carcasses around my garden, imagining next year’s garden.Pumpkin



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