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Pumpkins and toads

August 20, 2012
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Tea and Pea were given garden space for 2 vegetables each this year.  Not surprisingly, they both chose pumpkins and popcorn.

The popcorn is growing tall and looking great – we’ll harvest it after the ears have dried on the stalks.  (I think?  Correct me if I’m wrong about that.)

The pumpkins, on the other hand, struggled through a squash vine borer infestation.  The plants were bravely hanging on but finally died while we were out of town – we came home to a mess of tangled brown vines.  The boys and I harvested about 5 large pumpkins and a handful of small ones as we cleaned up the dead plants.

The largest pumpkin is 7 pounds and I’m storing it in the basement until Halloween – we can carve it if it lasts until then.  The rest I stuck in the fridge – I see pumpkin stews in our future.  Maybe even some desserts if I get ambitious (yeah, right).

The boys squirreled the small pumpkins away around their playhouse as decorations.

I noticed that one large pumpkin had half-rotted into the garden bed, so I braced myself and squeamishly reached down to scoop up the slop.  My fingers hit something that moved and, already thoroughly grossed-out, I screeeeaaamed.  There, under the pumpkin, I discovered a huge, bumpy, almost-as-big-as -a-softball, perfectly camouflaged toad.  Equal parts awesome and terrifyingly unexpected.  He blended in so well that when I called the boys over to take a look, Pea leaned in close and kept repeating “Where is it?  Where is it?” If Pea’s nose had been a bug, it would have been the toad’s lunch.

Sadly, our toad friend was gone the next morning.  I’m certain he’s found a new hiding place so he can terrorize me again.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    August 20, 2012 12:26 pm

    I saw on pinterest that you can use the dessicated silica packets that come in shoes, etc to keep pumpkins from rotting….? maybe worth a shot!

    • August 20, 2012 12:30 pm

      Pinterest to the rescue again. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Kristen Anderson permalink
    August 20, 2012 3:44 pm

    I have a pumpking bread recipe the kids love. Also, the pumpkin in the basement should be fine as long as it is cool and dark.

    • August 21, 2012 7:29 pm

      I’d love to try your recipe if you’d share. I’ve never cooked with fresh pumpkin before (except for seeds).

  3. kerrie permalink
    August 24, 2012 2:29 am

    That toad looks like our cane toads here in Queensland Australia. Horrible introduced pests. I hope it is isn’t one. 😦

    • August 24, 2012 7:29 am

      Cane toads sound horrible. I think this is just an eastern American toad. I’ve never seen one in the yard, so it’s fun. I just wish he’d eaten more of the bugs that destroyed our pumpkin crop.

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