Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Almost harvest time

I can't believe the pumpkins are almost ready!  It still seems to me that it's a little early, but I looked up some pumpkin sites on the internet, and it's certainly possible the are REALLY ready.  And we've also learned that many other pumpkin farmers are harvesting and shipping already.  Pumpkins can stay good for MONTHS after harvesting if they are properly cared for. 

Here is one of the mammoth pumpkins... they are huge, and hopefully getting bigger.  They can be recognized by their light orange color and their smooth skins.

The jack-o-lantern pumpkins are smaller, and they have a bright orange color.  Most of them have ridges in their flesh. 

Pumpkins are ready to harvest when they quit growing and when the color is a deep, dark orange.  I don't know if they are done growing, since we haven't measured them.  But I think they are seriously close to being all grown up!

We found some that are mostly orange but still have some green lines on them. 

And we have a few that seem large enough, but are still mostly green!  Maybe that's a good thing though.  We'll harvest the solid orange ones within a couple of weeks.  The others can wait a little longer.  I think in the future we should plant twice... one harvest can be around the first of September, but the later ones could stay on the farm for people who want to bring their kids and pick out their own on the vine.

Since the vines are starting to turn brown and wilt, we are finally able to walk among them into the middle of our patch.  I'm not sure how many pumpkins we have, but one thing is certain ... we don't have as many as we would have liked.  We have hundreds, but since we planted 1000 seeds, it would have been nice to have had at least that many pumpkins.  We've been studying the art of pumpkin farming, and most farmers have to self-pollinate their pumpkins using a pipe cleaner or similar devise to do the job that bees should be doing!  Steve has even mentioned buying a bee hive.  We have learned what all farmers know --- you live and learn!

This is Alec next to one of our largest jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  This one will make a great carving!

Anyone wanna pay in advance and lay claim to this big guy? haha

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