Reconsidering Pumpkins

It’s been a while since we grew pumpkins here, but I’m thinking about setting aside a garden for them next year.

We had good reasons to drop pumpkins. First of all, there are other winter squash that we like better. Second, they take up a lot space that could be used for more desirable crops. Third, they take a long time to mature, giving squash bugs plenty of time to kill them and leaving me wondering whether we could keep them alive long enough for a harvest. But most of all there isn’t a market for them here except as decorations and jack-o-lanterns. Sure a few people might eat them, but very few. And I like growing food, not decorations. So, we quit growing them years ago.

Over¬†the past couple of years I’ve considered putting in a large pumpkin patch and allowing families to come out and pick their own Halloween pumpkins. That seems a popular thing to do these days. But I never acted on that. We’d need another rider on our insurance if we did it and I’m not sure I could supervise such a thing and take care of the other farm duties too. So that idea is tabled for now.

But, as I said to begin this, I’m considering putting in a patch this year. But if I do my plan is to plant them, then do nothing else. They’ll be on their own–no cultivating, no irrigating, no deer exclusion, no squash bug patrols. I have a large garden area that I’d decided to take out of production because we can’t keep deer out of it. Maybe I’ll plant it in pumpkins and if the deer eat the plants, no great loss. If the pumpkins mature, then we’ll take¬†whatever we don’t want or can’t sell (and since I won’t be trying to time them to Halloween I don’t expect we’d sell many) and feed them to the pigs.

Just a thought for now, but maybe worth a few hours as an experiment.