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Posts Tagged ‘Jack-o’-lantern’

Early in the summer, I dreamed big.  The weather was warming and the spring garden abundant, so when the small package of Pumpkin Pro arrived in the mail, I gave in to my inner child and sprinkled the powder into my pumpkin hills.  Touted as “the secret ingredient to growing gigantic pumpkins,” I let myself believe that this year I’d finally get a gourd the size of a Buick in my backyard.

The trio of bio-products (mycorrhyzal fungi, Azos bacterium, and calcium carbonate), promised a pumpkin that needed a little elbow room, so I planted only seeds with the genetics of giants in that area, then waited.  Nothing happened.  After 10 days, I planted again.   

Over in the regular garden, the miniature pumpkins sprang up with gusto, running over the ground and fruiting like they were trying to set a record.   In the giant pumpkin patch, a small, weak vine struggled up, growing feebly throughout the summer.  I nurtured it, putting up wind breaks and fertilizing it with care. 

The vine set fruit and I quickly caged it to protect it from squirrels.  Checking it daily, I was happy to see the swell of what would surely become a prize-winning Jack O’ Lantern.  Visions of carving the expanse of squash filled my mind: do I stay traditional with a simple Jack face or sculpt it to illustrate Dante’s Inferno

As summer rolled by it was clear no further pumpkins would be borne on the vine, so I resigned myself to one show stopping gourd.  One is better than none.

It’s now matured, with orange blushing its skin, and today, I can proudly announce that I have applied the latest research and cutting edge technology to grow a pumpkin the size of my shoe.  The miniature pumpkins are larger than this.

Stuck without a decent-sized Jack O’ Lantern, I’m forced to go shopping.  Fortunately, the local pumpkin patches offer plenty of fun and a wide variety of designer pumpkins. 

Check them out this fall, but visit the farm’s Web site for daily hours.  Find a pumpkin patch near you at Pumpkin Patches and more

This post was previously published in the Longmont Ledger.

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