October 10, 2012

Harvesting the Pumpkin Patch

As you know, I love seasonal decorations and with Halloween, (my favorite holiday) and Thanksgiving approaching, it was time to think autumn.  Good thing Ryan, my gardener, and I planned ahead and planted a large pumpkin patch, which quite amazingly, provided us with many, many pumpkins and other decorative winter squash.  Pumpkins are members of the curcurbit family, which includes pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, luffas, watermelons, and melons.  Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas.  These early varieties of squash kept well and were valuable food sources, sustaining populations through the winter months.  The dried outer shells were used as bowls and other vessels for food storage.  The Native Americans introduced pumpkins and squashes to Pilgrim settlers and this food source was so important to them that it became a symbol of Thanksgiving.

When planting our pumpkin patch, Ryan used a large variety of seeds that we have been saving for several years.  It’s very difficult to correctly identify each variety, but I can share with you many of our sources.  See below:

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The Home Depot – Martha Stewart Living Seeds

Homestead Seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds

Seed Savers Exchange

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Kitazawa Seed Co.