Of Rocks and Pumpkins

This spring we had a load of composted manure delivered to the farm and dumped in its usual place down by all our compost heaps.

When I began to carry wheelbarrow loads of the stuff up to the garden, I was chagrined to find the manure was chock a block full of fist sized rocks. There was just no way this stuff had come straight from a cow. Something had gotten lost in translation. Well, eventually the farmer admitted that he had composted this manure on a pile of rocks and I got the lucky scoop that picked up all these rocks.

Meanwhile down at the manure pile, I was having a hard time enjoying this situation. I have spent enough years here taking rocks OUT of the gardens to relish putting any back INTO the garden, and sifting through manure was not exactly high on my priority list for spring chores.

I did my best to get over myself and dutifully carted twenty or thirty loads of sifted manure up to the roses. Then I quit. Left the big pile to rot some more. Tried to ignore it. But there it sat, our own version of rocky road ice cream.

So one day on a whim, hoping to lessen my guilt about not making the most of this manure, I smoothed the top of the pile a wee bit and threw in a half dozen GIANT ATLANTIC PUMPKIN SEEDS. And let me tell you, within days I was feeling like Jack and the Beanstalk. This mighty pile of manure combined with our endless rain made for the perfect pumpkin growing matrix. Now covering an area about the size of a tennis court, these plants have gone NUTS!

And as the nights creep closer to that moment of frost, I realize that one of the really fun things about our first real frost will be finally seeing just how many of those epic pumpkins there are out there.

Right now we get a glimpse on our way to and fro from the compost heap.


Nothing in my photo suggests the scale of these things. I will have to do better when we harvest them to show you exactly HOW BIG they are. Find a small child to cower under the things just like in the seed catalogs or something. Its like Jack’s magic beans are at work down there and not only are Jack’s needs being taken care of, but I think I have a pumpkin for Cinderella too.

I can only hope the magic extends to disappearing all those rocks in the pile.

Hope and pumpkins spring eternal here.

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