Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pumpkin Picking

Today I picked my own pumpkins. From a pumpkin patch. On the edge of a cornfield. With no one else around. That’s country life for you! 

While I was with my kids in the car on my way to visit the guys in the field, Grant called me and said that his high school friend offered us pumpkins out on his property. Since I was near, Grant gave me the directions: go down the gravel road, take a left at the t, go around a bunch of curves and look for a green and white shed. (That’s usually how directions go when it comes to telling me where to drive among the corn and bean fields.) Sure enough, I couldn’t miss the shed, drove around it and looked for a bunch of pumpkins laying around for me to take home. There were no pumpkins in sight. I called Grant asking if I had to actually find a pumpkin patch and go out into the field and pick them. Sure enough, as I rounded the corner, I spotted pumpkins that looked like they were out of “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”! They were huge and still attached to their vines. 

I got out, took a look around, and discovered beautiful pumpkins scattered among vines throughout a large patch next to the corn field. I found a few that looked to be the right size for carving, stepped through some vines and went down to reach for a pumpkin. Who knew that pumpkin vines and stalks were sooo prickly! It was the same discovery six years ago when I went to pull my very first zucchini in my own vegetable garden: I came into the house with a bag full of zucchini but an arm full of itchy scratches form their vines. But these pumpkins were different. The only place I could touch without getting stuck in the arm or hand was the pumpkin itself. I had no gloves or my strong farmer husband to help me. Just me, corn fields, a bunch of pumpkins still in the field, and my two toddlers in the car watching a movie (thank goodness for dvd systems). 

My pumpkins!
If I was going home with pumpkins, I had to find a spot where I could step into without getting too scratched up on my legs and bend down to take hold of a pumpkin while pulling it from its vine. After managing some athletic moves and crushing vines to the side with my shoes, I found a few good sized pumpkins to take home for fall decorations and Halloween carving. In order to get them free and load them into the car, I had to roll them over on their sides until they broke from their vines. There was no way I was touching those stalks with bare hands. 

This was a country experience at its finest. I was alone in a pumpkin patch, my hands and pants were dirty, I was sweaty from all the work of pulling the pumpkins loose, there was a beautiful red barn in the background, and I was surrounded by the sweet sound of silence. I even used the opportunity to get the kids out of the car to see the Charlie Brown sized pumpkins and take a few pictures. 

My pumpkins this year aren’t bought from a local pumpkin patch or road stand, but I picked them myself. And this afternoon, they adorn my front steps waiting for Grant to bring home straw bales and corn stalks from our family farm. 

*And a special thanks to Luke for letting me experience my very own pumpkin picking from his farm! 

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