Accidental Pumpkin Patch

Sometime in the early Summer of 2015 as I was mowing the grass on the side of our house I noticed some unfamiliar leaves growing there.   I went to grab the weed eater out of the garage when something made me stop.  Somehow these leaves didn’t look “weed-like” and so I decided to forego destroying them until I could identify them.  As I continued to mow I made a possible connection.  The previous November our uncarved Halloween pumpkins had been moved from the porch to the side of the house only when the Christmas decorations made an appearance.  We had waited so long to dispose of them that they never made it to the compost pile; they barely made it to the side of our house before completely falling apart in our hands.  They were left to decompose there in the barren area that lines the south-facing side of our home, where we have never bothered to landscape save for some maintenance-free peppermint.  So now, seven months or so later, that little “ding” that went off in my brain, that natural instinct that makes even a modern human recognize the sometimes barely perceptible differences between a useless weed and an edible plant, was reminding me that we had dumped pumpkins in that very spot.  Could these unfamiliar leaves be pumpkin leaves???

Later in the season we relocated some of our “accidental” pumpkin plants to the back yard where they grew with great success.

A quick Google image search confirmed that these were, indeed, pumpkin leaves.  It seemed a miracle to me!  Without any prior knowledge of growing pumpkins, without any prior planning or fussing or spending money on nutrients meant to bring our suburban soil up to par, we had produced pumpkin plants from seeds we never planted!

As pumpkins ripen, they should be gently turned making sure not to damage the vines.
We are in Growing Zone 6a and our pumpkins were ready for harvesting just in time for Halloween!

In the months that followed, as if nature had orchestrated and ordained this whole amazing accident from beginning to end, we produced a total of 9 pumpkins.  It was magical because it was unplanned and effortless.  It was a lesson in the lifecycle of the pumpkin from seed to full grown pumpkin filled with seeds for future pumpkins.  A lesson in the Circle of Life.

We were able pass up all the pumpkin bins in grocery stores and instead proudly display our own pumpkins for Fall.

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