This past spring I noticed a small gourd-like plant in my garden that I did not plant on purpose. Curious, I left it and watched to see what it would become in the fall. Sure enough it grew to be a small pumpkin, probably from the compost pile or a bird. Not a particularly pretty one, but a unique, homegrown fall decoration for my office. In October, I cut it and put it on my desk next to the glass pumpkin jar, full of candy.
My kids are too old now to carve the large pumpkins for Halloween but last week my daughter had to purchase one to carve in her high school arts class. I did the initial gutting at home and as I pulled out the seeds, I noticed how plump and healthy they looked—too good to throw away. I decided to save a few to plant next year. They won’t produce a pumpkin as large and as fine as my daughter’s pumpkin, no doubt it was a cultivar bred for Halloween, but they will produce some type of a pumpkin that I can bring to work, just like the small one I found in the garden. I don’t know why I never thought of it before but I can grow my own desktop pumpkins just as easily as growing squash or melons in the garden. So I washed and set aside a handful of the seeds and roasted the rest for us to enjoy snacking on that evening. Next year I will have my own homegrown desktop pumpkins!