Gather Ye Pumpkins

For us, this year’s Black Friday deals don’t start on November 29th — they kicked off four Fridays earlier than that. On November 1st, the price of pumpkins at our local farm market dropped to just about zero.

Well, technically not “zero.” It’s actually ten bucks for as many pumpkins as you can load in your vehicle at a time. If that’s not the most amazing, screaming good deal … I don’t know what is. (Besides the absolutely free Christmas trees that Walmart unloads on December 26th.)

All you have to do is put your $10 in the unattended coffee can (it’s the honor system), drive onto the field, and start loading. I pulled most of the seats out of our old minivan, laid down a tarp, and let her rip.

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Note the “volunteer” corn stalks. This field was planted in corn last year, and several kernels must’ve spilled during harvest.

I suppose I could’ve managed to cram a few more in there, but the suspension (and the tires) were starting to protest. As it is, with this kind of load, a Chrysler Town & Country’s handling characteristics are … interesting. I didn’t want to get greedy. I don’t mind leaving  a little open space, and coming back for additional loads. It’s only about ten minutes away.

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I included the second picture so you could get a sense of how many pumpkins are out there. I think it’s a five acre field, and most of it is still covered in orange gourds. I’ve made three trips in the last few days, and have barely made a dent.

However (and this is a big “however”), there’s a problem: not all of those pumpkins are still sound. Some are clearly rotting, or at least starting to turn (such as the one in the first picture, on the ground near the car – there’s a reason I left that one). With freezing nights getting more common, the pumpkins sitting in that open field will only deteriorate more rapidly. So, the race is on to gather the pumpkins while we may.

Meanwhile, back home, we’re piling up an impressive orange mountain downstairs in the barn. The sheep and goats are absolutely loving these things, and the chickens are doing their part to clean up any scraps the ruminants miss.

Speaking of chickens: sadly, Crazy Mama Hen lost one of the two chicks yesterday. The little black one is still hanging tough, though. I’ve already helped them into the barn tonight, so they should be safe for now.

Here’s hoping that all the pumpkin pieces inside the barn give Mama Hen one less reason to venture out into the cold!

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