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My friend Crhis has a beautiful house, yard, garden. He has big bushes in front of his house, and a pretty lawn.
Early this summer I saw a STRANGE orange round THING hanging from one of the bushes.
It got bigger and bigger and bigger and when I walked over to the bush to see exactly WHAT this strange bulbous thing was- - To my surprise I notice the bush was LACED with green vines and this thing was.. a Pumpkin!!
I managed to corner Chris one day and ask him about this -- "Well, we had a pumpkin on our doorstep for Hallowween last year and the squirrels ate their way thru it and one of the seeds got planted...so we just left it there and let it grow!!"
It got so big I wondered how on earth it could still hang on its vine about 2 feet off the ground!!!
Finally in August, it was about 15 inches in diameter and one day it was ...gone. WHERE DID IT GO??!!
LOL -- a day later, I saw it, with a BIG blue ribbon attached to it-- at the County Fair.
It eventually became a pie --
All of this, just becuz of a coupla hungry squirrels at Halloween last year -- LOL!!!
My volunteer pumpkins never made it to a county fair, front stoop, Halloween decoration, or anything else. In my house, it became food - I cooked it in the pressure cooker, drained it in an apple cider bag from the Vita Mix, measured various amounts into zipper top bags, and put them in the freezer, to be thawed out as needed for baking. The heaviest pumpkin I ever had was about 17 pounds. But, beware, anyone who finds one of these vines growing in their yard - they are huge (the leaves, alone, are enormous) and will take over. Of course, we all know that if a squash vine is cut, the entire plant dies - right??
I have a volunteer also, with one single fruit---but last week's freeze did in the vine and it is far from ripe. I'm contemplating doing what Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother did when an early freeze did the same to their crop. Has anyone ever made green pumpkin pie?