Autumn Aliens

We visited a farm in wp-image-1536863450jpg.jpgPennsylvania to pick some pumpkins and gourds to bring home.   My son was intrigued by their funny shapes and bright colors.  They reminded me of the silly monsters he draws – cute alien creatures with round or oval bodies filled in by swirls or dots and topped with one to three eyes; each creature has a name like,  Dingle, Yugi, Ygug, Hithy, Hicamawiks, Hallywak and Dotty-Spot.  They make us laugh.

These alien-like squashes make us smile, too.  Any names come to mind for them?  I will ask my son, he will have some ideas.

Can you guess which ones he named, Backhoe, Emerald,  and Pouty?

answers: (no peeking!)

Backhoe is the creamy, white gourd with the curved neck on the very top of the hay bale. Emerald is the bright green one in between the bumpy faint, pastel blue pumpkin and the orange pumpkin. It’s underneath Backhoe, a little to the right. Pouty is the crazy, pale blue pumpkin with the frown next to the green and the white gourds. He’s the closest to you!    😉

Harvest Monday – September 19, 2011

Gourds' story time

We harvested gourds, sweet potatoes and a few green bell and habanero peppers from our garden this week.   The gourds were the star of  our harvest.  We plan to leave the gourds outside on our deck to dry out so my son can paint them and make them into birdhouses.

spots on gourd

We picked all our gourds today even though it is best to pick the gourds later in the season when the stems turn brown.  We picked them early because many of them had developed dark green and brown spots. The Home and Garden Center at the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension thought the spots were water soaked spots due to our very wet growing season.  They could not identify any fruit pathogen from the photo I sent to them.   They recommended we pick the gourds immediately, rub them with a mild bleach solution and let them air dry.   Now we have some sparkly clean gourds.

Harvest Totals:  gourds 21 pounds and  sweet potatoes 4.5 pounds

Sunflower and Gourd Seeds Planted

sunflower and gourd seeds planted

My son has his own garden bed in our community garden plot. For the last two years he has only planted Giant Sunflower seeds in his garden bed. This year he planted Bottle Gourd seeds along with a new variety of Sunflower seeds.  My son plans to make his own birdhouses and musical instruments from the gourds he grows (we will consult the Gourd Reserve when it comes time for harvesting and drying the gourds).   He planted Magic Roundabout Sunflower seeds,  a  hybrid sunflower that branches out and produces more than one flower per plant through summer into fall.   I plan to brighten our house with cut sunflowers this summer and fall!

Everything from our garden plot does not need to be edible to be useful!