If you caught my blog post from just about a year ago, you might remember that we had a pumpkin patch. It grew from the seeds of a jack-o-lantern, and we ended up with only two pumpkins (I cheated and staged some more pumpkins from the grocery store so that every child could take one home--they never knew!).
Well, this year was a wild success in comparison!
First of all, I have to tell you where the pumpkin seeds came from. Early in the spring, I got a beautiful surprise from one of my former daycare kids, Maggie. Maggie was one of the biggest enthusiasts of the Little Hands Garden as it started to take root. She had a garden at home, and was part of the Garden Club at her preschool, so she had all kinds of tips. I enjoyed her curiosity, her excitement, her quiet observation of the tiny miracles that took place with our projects. Here she is, working with our seedlings last year:
Needless to say, I was speechless at the thoughtfulness of this gift. Of the various wonderful seeds Maggie brought for me and our garden, a packet of pumpkin seeds immediately caught my eye. I knew we were going to have a great little pumpkin patch using them.
We planted the seeds the the late spring (only 6 seeds total--2 small hills got 3 seeds), and watched the pumpkins develop from tiny green bulbs to perfect little orange cuties, just like we did last summer. It is an excitement that never gets old.
This year I definitely did not have to cheat and add in a few store bought pumpkins; our tiny humble patch produced THIRTEEN perfect tiny pumpkins!
The best part about the pumpkin patch is that harvest time occurs when the rest of the summer crops in the garden are gone. It brings us back to the now brown-and-scraggly garden so that we can see the results of the summer's pumpkin babies. It keeps the garden in our minds--and for me, it gets me thinking of what fall crops we can put in, because I just don't want the growing to end!
There is just something magical about kids and pumpkins: they adore them, and get more excited to harvest them than any of our other crops. Here we are on our journey our little pumpkin patch this week. We are officially ready for fall!