Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gift Pumpkins

When I was a little kid we had a compost heap.  I remember that every summer, squash vines would climb out of it.  This year we had gift vines too.  They took over and I let them.  It turned out they were pumpkins.  I don't try to grow squash anymore.  The soil has some kind of silvery fungus that attacks them and they die in August.  Further, squash are so cheap at the farmers market that we can save the precious garden space for something else.

The pumpkins went nuts and this little guy turned orange really early.  It also has a funny scar.  I picked it and washed it with a bleach solution.  The I left it on the warm front porch in the sun for 10 days.  The scar hardened off.   Pick Your Own has great information about prepping fresh pumpkin.  Ours are probably jack-o-lanterns rather than pie pumpkins but you can still eat them.
I cut it in half and scooped out the guts.  Then I cut it in eighths and steamed it in a pot for 20 min.  Once the wedges had cooled, I peeled off the rind.  I fridged them for a day and then mashed them for a bit and tossed them in the blender.  I got 4.5 cups of pumpkin puree from the little guy.  More than enough to make a pie or bread or muffins or soup.  But not this week.  In steamy, 85 degree August heat, the thought of baking or soup is not a great idea.  In October, it will be brilliant. 

There are at least 4 more out there.  Just wait for the Jack-o-lanterns!  And, maybe the guts of these pumpkins will gift us with more vines next year...


  1. You can also grill pumpkin outside ... brush it with olive oil and stick it on the grill!

  2. I remember I was a little girl, I would get SO excited if there were pumpkins growing in the garden. And I must say when I read your gardening posts they all remind me of home. I used to live in Upstate New York, and my dad would grow a huge garden!