Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pumpkin Prowess

Fall has definately come around this neck of the woods. Its not just because the weather is cooling down a bit or the fact that the sun doesn't hang for quite as many hours in our big sky as it did during the long days of summer.There is a difference in the air that I just can't quite explain but can definately feel. It wont be long now before the western larch's needles start turning a bright yellow-orange. Thats actually pretty cool around here because of how many larch there are in our forest. You don't really think about how many there are until the needles turn and whole hillsides are a contrast of orange against the deep green of all the other trees. Those will make for some great pictures to post on here when the time comes.

With the creeping in of fall I find myself hoping my pumpkin will grow faster. I feel like a witch or mad scientist out in the garden waving my hands chanting "grow my little one grow". Don't worry I haven't gone off my rocker, I'm just excited about how big this little sucker might get. It set on so late that its having to play catch up to Polly's 100 lb one now. I'm very jealous of my future mom-in-laws gourd actually. Its a nice bright orange and a perfectly round 67 inches in circumference as you can see from the pic I took of hers yesterday. *sniffle sniffle* It puts mine to shame at the moment. I can't really complain though. My pumpkin is still in that light yellow baby pumplkin stage of development though it should start to get more orangy any day now. My little guy has put on about 20 lbs in the last week and is starting to so show some umph. I think its weights close to 35 lbs total now, though maybe even a bit more than that since its getting harder to lift. Its kind of a pain in the rear end though. Mace and I are so paranoid that it might freeze at night (already had frost Aug 1st) that we have a system of covering the entire pumpkin plant every single night. It starts with wrapping the pumpkin itself up in a giant towel, then putting a big box over that to keep the little guy as warm as we can. After the pumpkin itself is covered, we use the system of boards we set up running the entire length of the plant to support the 6 tarps we need to cover the plant. It looks pretty haphazard after all is said in done but it keeps the plant a good 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the garden, which is worth it after all the work we've put into pruning and burying the vine itself day after day. I know it sounds like a lot of extra work, and it is, but its been really fun seeing something grow so much so fast that it seems worth it. Again... there isn't much to do in Trout Creek Montana, I have to get my kicks in somehow.

I picked the last of my raspberries and made the very last batch of jam yesterday. Mace's chest freezer is pretty much filled to the brim so I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to put these last 8 jars. Between making raspberry and strawberry jam, freezing the peppers we've roasted from the garden, and the litany of other stuff we've made and canned over the past few weeks cupboards both at Mace's and Polly's house are getting stuffed. Its a nice feeling really seeing all the hard work paying off. Weird thing is is that both gardens still haven't be fully harvested. We've just been picking at it as thing have ripened but there is still a ton out there. All the onions, carrots, rest of the beets, more peppers and tomatoes, green beens, peas, etc etc I'm not sure where everything is going to go. Its been a great growing season and the produce has been yummier than ever for it.

Last night Mace and I cooked for the whole family using pretty much just stuff from our garden. We had a giant salad with carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, yellow peppers, and red onions all of which came from our garden except for the lettuce. Then we had elk steak cooked on the grill with roasted new red potatoes and carrots (again from our garden). It was one of the best meals we'd all had in a long time. Fresh veggies are just too yummy. To top the night off we all sat around a fire pit outside and roasted marshmellows with Lane and Gracie (Mace's nephew and niece) and watched the shooting stars til midnight. All in all it was a great evening.

1 comment:

Kati said...

Holy. Crap.

I have 3 cacti. Do I need to water them?