We haven’t made it quite as far as carving a pumpkin yet, so instead we just leave one on the front step as a compromise between seasonal decoration and delaying putting away the groceries. Last year I had good intentions to cook it up and freeze it, but right when I should have done so I decided that I never wanted to eat or smell food again as long as I lived. So it rotted. And then the ducklings were deeply traumatized by me throwing it on the compost heap. (Just imagine how they would have reacted if it had had a face!)
This year I got to it quickly enough and cooked it up. And as I was cleaning it I thought: Seeds! Now I know it’s probably a hybrid and won’t stay true to type, but there’s a bed I want to kill the stumps in and my sister vaguely recalls reading somewhere that settlers used to plant pumpkins for this purpose. Also Food Not Lawns mentions them as a detoxing plant. For those purposes, the exact type won’t matter, and it will be fun to save the seeds and see what comes up. Besides, if I start on free seeds and really do save them and get them to grow, I’ll feel braver to buy open-pollinated seeds in the future.
Bed building is still on the agenda this week. Looks like we have one more week of Indian summer, so we’d best be out enjoying it. I pulled some of what I think was poison ivy from the back fence, but I was too late and some of the leaves fell off and mixed in with the other fallen leaves, so I’m going to have to keep the kids away from that whole area now. (Does poison ivy turn colors and fall off in the autumn? If not then maybe it was something different. I’ve had a rash on my arm for almost a month now, though, and I’m not taking any chances.)
You’re supposed to mow before putting down cardboard to build beds, but unfortunately no one around here knows how to start the mower, and the uncles who usually do it have not had time to stop by lately. I think I’ll just use clippers for now. They did get the compost bin moved for me so I can start more beds in the sunniest spot.