Friday, October 16, 2009


Frankenstein A Pumpkin
October 4, 2009 - October 12, 2009
An excellent Squash,
A beautiful Pumpkin,
May your seeds go forth and Multiply!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Gardening Update, Pumpkin Update

Yesterday I visited the garden on my day off after the morning rain. The marigolds are really taking off while the sunflower heads are almost picked clean. Last year they attracted goldfinches but I haven't seen any this year. Someone is eating the seeds but the rest may propagate some freebies next spring.

Clockwise from the top left are drying sunflowers, cherry tomato plants with a few greenies left, the still active Mortgage Lifter tomato plants (see photo below), several late season bean bushes that flowered too late for pollination, 5 super amazing marigold plants from seeds saved last year, chinese cabbage, 2 types of basil, cauliflower, and beets that I pulled after the photo was taken. I will make my last batch of homemade pickled beets either tonight or tomorrow.

The Mortgage Lifter plants have another 6 or 7 tomatoes on the vine. I picked the almost ripe one in case something screwy happens with the weather. It will ripen in my kitchen as I wait for a few of the others to come along. The snapdragon in the lower right reseeded from last year and will hopefully do the same this year.

My most promising cauliflower is 16" across now. The others are either not growing at all or half the size of this winner. I think it may be a testament to proper soil nutrition.

On the pumpkin front, we are doing very well here after several farmstand visits and an amazing pumpkin patch experience in NW New Jersey. We picked up the Jack B. Little at a local garden center and the pretty squash came from our local farmer's market in Hamilton Park.

This is another find from the garden store. I believe it is a Gold Metal pumpkin because of its dark orange color, somewhat bumpy skin, and thick stem.

Josh picked the large pumpkin from the patch in New Jersey. We were both attracted to its Frankensteinesque form. The leaves are from our street after a very windy afternoon yesterday.

While we were driving around in the country, we passed a roadside stand selling tan gourds. I was happy to find they had left some stem and bought one for the bargain price of 50 cents. Josh picked the smallest pumpkin I've ever seen at the patch (free). The red orange pumpkin was my find in the field. I have been looking for a Rouge vif d'Etamps pumpkin for years and couldn't believe the farm had them for picking in the field. It is also known as a Cinderella. I found one with some stem for that rustic feel. My pumpkin dream has come true.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Storm King

The iconic Storm King Wall by Andy Goldsworthy is one of the masterpieces on display. We visited Storm King in upstate NY with Sharon and Josiah a few weekends ago. The weather was a little brisk and the walking brisker. There were some close calls with meal delays. We were teased by over-priced pumpkins. Luckily we took some great pictures.

Artfully placed hay bales look awful pretty.

Josh is a little out of place but otherwise this composition is amazing!

The cold hard steel of Mark di Suvero called for some serious contemplation.

Fun in the sculpture garden isn't hard to find.

Sharon recommended this one for our album cover.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Terrain at Styer's in Pennsylvania

My mother and I stopped by this nursery a few weeks ago after I saw a roadside sign advertising "heirloom pumpkins" and nearly exploded with excitement. The wagon o' wonders was an impressive display to say the least. In addition to the fall bounty, they seem to specialize in repurposing objects for use in garden and landscape design. I am no longer convinced that old stumps need to be removed. My love of rustic concrete planters has been reinforced.


nice display

My mother seemed to like these Peanut Pumpkins.

A few jumbo pumpkins mingled with the classics.

Pumpkin inspired paint scheme?

Friday, October 2, 2009

While I enjoy a near-perfect Dark and Stormy...

A few weekends ago we went to a peach orchard off 78 in NJ and met this very attractive cow.

His chicken companion enjoyed scratching around in his "leftovers."

A rooster in the bunch had really long legs.

Josh sampled some delicious gala apples. They turned out to be much better than the peaches although we only brought home a few.

After enduring several pints of blood loss to the mosquitoes I climbed into an apple tree for a photo op.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cauliflower and Cabbage (and Cha Cha)

I'm fall planting for the first time so we'll see what happens. I didn't add any fertilizer before the seedlings went in (cauliflower, savoy cabbage, chinese cabbage) so that was my first mistake. Also, it seems like September was cooler than normal this year so that's not going to help. I really have no idea what is supposed to happen with the plants. Were they supposed to mature by winter or winter over for a jumpstart in spring? Oh, the mystery!

I had a stepping stone in the middle of the plot that I removed to make room for one more cauliflower. Since no plants were here over the summer, this lucky guy got some great dirt and has rocketed ahead of his peers.

Cha Cha Pyramid

Sun Bather

Spoon Toy