Pumpkins, Jarrahdale Pumpkins actually…

The first two days of October came with frost and Pumpkins.  The average frost dates where I live run from October 11th through May 10th.

So frost came a little early this year and totally destroyed my pumpkin vines.  I wasn’t worried though. The pumpkins were ready to be harvested anyway. And the other night after work, that is exactly what I did.

Jarrahdale Pumpkins… A native of Australia. That’s the one and only variety I grew this year.  Why? Because I was lazy, truthfully, so that’s why.  A Jarrahdale’s flesh is golden and medium sweet, string-less, and it’s a great quality pumpkin for baking.  They need 100 days to reach maturity. I wasn’t much interested in planting pumpkins this year.

Last year, the one and only Jarrahdale that I bought from an Amish vegetable stand ended up in my house as a decoration – until Springtime.  It lasted one hell of a shelf life.  That was the pumpkin I took seeds from and planted for this year’s crop. I shoved about seven seeds into a mound of dirt and walked away, forgetting about them until I noticed small shoots popping up a few weeks later.

They were so easy to grow.  I never once watered them. They took care of themselves completely.  My kind of plant – little effort on my part.

What will I do with them?  One is going to become soup on Halloween (with roasted seeds of course), some will sit around the house as fall decorations, and the rest will go down in the basement until I’m ready to cook them into something delicious.  Pumpkin ravioli? Pumpkin Pie? Pumpkin Gnocchi? Cookies? Bread? The possibilities are endless. A tiny bit of drool just ran from my mouth thinking about it.

I’m now looking forward to growing these again next year, along with some other heirloom varieties.  Once I learned how easy they are I immediately designated a large section of my hay-field for next year’s “Pumpkin Patch” experiment.  I’m tconsidering growing “Musquee De Provence,” “Long Island Cheese,” and “Moonshine Pumpkins,” along with a few others. First I have to look into cross-pollination issues, if there are any.

Next year, I’d also like to try and sell some at a farmer’s market, just for fun.  And because I just really want to see how the whole farmer’s market scene works and I always love meeting new people and farmers who share the same ideas and appreciation for locally grown food.  ~A  

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