Sunday, September 02, 2007


Don planted pumpkins back in June. You can see him and Lesley here examining the big leaves and little pumpkins Farm Day weekend in August. All these leaves are from just two plants! Vines can grow 6 inches in one day.

Some weeks after planting, flowers started appearing.

Each flower lasts one day.

By mid-day the flowers begin to fold in on themselves.

Every plant has two kinds of flowers, male and female. The male flowers don't become pumpkins, and there are far more of them than female flowers. Bees gather pollen from the male flowers and carry it to the female flowers.

The pollinated female flowers become pumpkins.

Don noticed this white film coating the leaves. It's a fungus, so he sprayed some organic fungicide today. I hope that does the trick.

In another week or two, we'll start cutting the stems and letting the pumpkins cure in the sun for several days. We'll decorate the farm with them and cut up a few for baking for pie, bread, muffins.


Lilli & Nevada said...

Wow that is a lot of pumpkins. Do you sell them?
How big has your biggest pumpkin weighed?
The colors in your photos are so beautiful.

Rauf said...

Most rewarding efforts Ruth, your own. its a joy to reap the fruits.
Cherian my friend had a blog which he has deleted, his first post was on a visit to a pumpkin farm near Chicago, huge they were.

Ruth said...

Hi, Lilli & Nevada. Nice of you top stop by. This is our first year with pumpkins, the first crop. We'll weigh the biggest one, should be interesting. We don't plan to sell them, although we've talked about selling them next year when Don wants to grow some Cinderella ones (they look like Cinderella's carriage). If we have too many to scatter around the farm, we'll give them away. I think I'll carve a few jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, one of my favorite pasttimes, except that carpal tunnel makes it more difficult these days.

Ruth said...

rauf, there are all kinds of contests for the biggest pumpkin. They're easy to grow, just plant the seed, and they'll go crazy. I think they're picturesque, and because they come in the fall, they're a favorite. Plus, I LOVE pumpkin pie, the best dessert I think.

Ginnie said...

Oh, what a fabulous post, Ruth! I love all the blossoms and learned something new about the male vs. female ones. I can certainly attest to those pumpkins being huge and wonderful in that gigantic patch. I can just see Don next year with the Cinderella ones. How fun!

Today (Monday) is your holiday. I hope you have a restful day and wonder if you're doing anything special? I just talked to JoAnn on the phone and we'll be meeting up on Thursday (with my new camera!). That will be MY holiday for the week. :) And of course, Donica starts her flight back here this evening. I miss her!

Are you saying you're still having problems with carpal tunnel? Didn't the surgery work???

Ruth said...

Boots, Oh! I didn't know you were meeting JoAnn, how nice, should be fun. I'm glad Donica will be back soon.

We're being quite lazy and staying at the farm all weekend, today is Labor Day, just in and out of the house on the farm.

I think I might have tendonitis. Don't know. I just don't have strength in my wrists.

freefalling said...

The last shot is another sturgeon moon! (and your grape on "flying", is too!)

We don't have pumpkin pie in Australia (not that I couldn't make one, I suppose).
I think it is the thought of a vegetable (is it a vegetable?) in a dessert!

Ruth said...

Freefalling, now you have me seeing sturgeon moons everywhere too.

I can completely understand, if you didn't grow up with pumpkin pie, that it would sound unappealing. But hundreds of millions of Canadians and Americans can't be too wrong, at least about dessert! I wish I could make you some. A great lady cook gave me a fantastic recipe, with molasses, and it's the best I've ever tasted.

You coming to Michigan any time soon?

KMF said...

Wow that is a lot of pumpkins ther thats all yours
good work on photo and in garden

Ruth said...

Thanks for your visit, KMF. Your photos of India are stunning.

lesleyanne said...

i can't believe how orange the pumpkins are! here it's only been about a month since i last saw tiny specks of orange on them. there must be dozens more of them sprouting every day!
can you send one to new york? then i'll decorate it and carve big mitten in it.
love the photos. and love that you posted this, i'll be you're as ready for autumn as i am.
yay internet!

Ruth said...

Ok, Les, I'll put one on an Amtrak seat and you can pick it up at Grand Central Station. Well, I don't know if you can pick it up, it might be too heavy!

Raw Kale said...

A clumsy question comes to mind: How do they know which to call male and which to call female? The sea horse, after all, has switched roles. What's to say these pumpkins haven't? But, I am sure there is a scientific explanation.

Ruth said...

It's a good question, RK. I had to ask Don just now. He said the flowers look the same, except the females grow out of a little pumpkin on the stem, whereas the males grow out of the stem.

sex said...