Saturday, June 07, 2003

A vigorous pumpkin blossom.

Weed pulling, rose pruning, snail tossing, lily trimming. I hit a few spots in the yard and dead headed the dianthus and roses, bagged more snails and pulled a few weeds. This place is thriving. Everything is blooming and sprouting. Had I mentioned the pumpkin vine? It's a volunteer out by the compost pile and it is huge and full of little green calabasas. I should go out tonight and rid it of the snails that are feasting on the fruit and flowers.

The first thing I did, when we moved here, was plant a pumpkin patch right in the thick of the horse kaka! Decomposed granite that has been compacted by the trampling hooves of four horses is unbelievably hard. Even now that we have a tractor we find it un-worthwhile to try digging most places where there were horses. But with a shovel and hand spade I managed to dig sufficiently to persuade a dozen pumpkin seeds to sprout. Hand watering and weed pulling were also necessary. Long before Halloween we had almost 30 pumpkins and when the mornings were foggy it was an eerie sight to see hundreds of sleek black crows sitting on the fence rails and walking among the inclining sunflowers and bright orange orbs.

Every other year we host a Halloween party. That year, 2001, we emphasized the blessing of the harvest and friends to share it with. After dinner and playing we gathered for a roaring fire in the pasture and each family was invited to visit the pumpkin patch to take home a pumpkin of their own.

Of all the pleasures of a garden I most enjoy sharing what we gain. Flowers and fruit, eggs and zucchini; there is so much pleasure and satisfaction in helping things grow and then passing them along. It helps to remember the joys of harvesting and celebrating when I am pulling weeds and hunting pests.

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