Monday, September 15, 2008

a pumpkin story

Readers of this blog know about my love of October. They know about my lust for apple cider and my appreciation for an old fashioned Halloween. But one thing they don't know (and am ashamed to admit) is how crappy I am at growing pumpkins. It's not for a lack of trying. I have planted many, read tips, asked growers... but every time I fail miserably. Last fall in Idaho I got pathetically close. My vines grew one small starter squash that I treated like the Christ child of the garden. At least until the night I pulled a Pontius pilot and stepped on it in the dark. It made the worst popping sound I had ever heard (followed by the worst string of curse words the garden ever heard.) So folks, I love pumpkins. I just can't grow them.

But this year dear readers, the winds-are-a-changing! This year I planted six hills. Three hills of organic pie pumpkins and three of jack-o-lanterns. And I am proud to say half a dozen small round green and orange orbs are coming along. None of them will be giant, but a few will be respectable carving size. And for that, I am thrilled. One of the pie pumpkin vines however, was a casualty to the rain, and it's lone baby pumpkin was going to rot with the vines if I didn't pick it early. So I did. And I carved it Saturday after the sheepdog trial and set it on the living room coffee table as some ambiance for watching movies. The seeds are drying in the kitchen, and will be saved for next year. It's not the exactly the full backseat-of-the-Subaru I had my mind, but it's something. And the first real homebrew organic pumpkin I ever carved. You got to start somewhere, right?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Jenna! Congrats on your pumpkin. Unfortunately we didn't plant any this year. Thankfully, mother nature came through for us and we had two that grew outside our garden all on their own. Maybe you can join us for our pumpkin party next year and play us a few tunes on the fiddle??

September 15, 2008 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

love to!

September 15, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

how did you get the pumpkins to grow this year? with so much rain - we grew powdery mildew instead. I don't have a single pumpkin and planted 3 packets of seeds. honestly - the worst crop failure for me ever. i even planted late like the older neighbors suggested.


September 15, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

You know what? I have no idea. I know I planted them late too, durring the heat of June when I had to water them every morning and night, and they flowered before the heavy July rains came. So I think my timing was just lucky?

September 15, 2008 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

lucky and there's that special Sandgate microclimate!

September 15, 2008 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget you can keep pumpkins from rotting, by placing them on straw or an old board, which will keep them from having contact with the damp ground.

Congratulation on your pumpkin! Looking forward to many more homegrown stories about this year's crop!

September 15, 2008 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Morgen said...

I love the pictures on your candle jars. Did you do them or find them somewhere?

September 15, 2008 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

can you email me - i have something for you!
barrosse at

September 15, 2008 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

they are actually sold at the orvis company, but I think they are discontinued? They might be in the outlets. there was a third one with a cow that said "milk" too

September 15, 2008 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger nefaeria said...

I LOVE those candle holders! Did you make them yourself?

And congrats on your pumpkin :)

SlĂ inte!


September 16, 2008 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Susan Marie said...

Congratulations! I love pumpkins and everything autumnal, too. My husband tried to grow pumpkins this summer, but it turned out the tiny seedling he was helping along was actually... grass. So, he got disgusted and gave up. Hopefully your story will encourage us to try again next year!

September 26, 2008 at 2:48 PM  

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