As you can see, the pumpkin which I mentioned in previous posts, has grown a bit. But wait, what is that thing on it that looks like a bandage? It is a bandage of course. Why a bandage?, you may ask. Answer is that for some reason, the pumpkin which was perfectly fine last night, had somehow cracked open by this morning. The crack was only a couple of inches long but penetrated through into the seed cavity. Not good considering all the bugs that would love to eat on the inside and the fact that it is supposed to rain tonight, which would fill the pumpkin with water making it rot on the vine.
This pumpkin being the only one likely to reach maturity before frost, I was left with a choice. I could harvest and salvage the pumpkin in hopes that the seeds were mature enough to save for spring, or I could try to seal it up so it might mature a bit more on the vine. My choice is obvious.
In case you are wondering why I was not at work this morning instead of practicing emergency medicine on pumpkins, it is because after seeing the dentist yesterday and having a tooth pulled, I decided to take a day of sick leave and take it easy. Yes, this is pertinent information on the pumpkin first aid, so back to the pumpkin.
My first thought of how to patch the pumpkin, was to use beeswax. I have always found beeswax to be great for anything where the sealer has to remain somewhat flexible since it doesn't become brittle when cold like paraffin. Question was of how to keep the wax from just running into the pumpkin instead of sealing over. The answer was in the small bag of two inch square surgical sponges (aka gauze pads) that the dentist had sent home for me to hold on the former location of my tooth to stop the bleeding. They always send too many and this was a likely use for a couple of them. I promptly melted some beeswax in an old coffee can, dropped in the gauze, let it cool enough to be handled though still molten, and applied them to the wound. The beeswax stuck to the pumpkin skin like it was made to do so and now, as you can see, the pumpkin appears to be protected. We will hope it holds up long enough for the poor thing to mature.
At this point, if you are not asking why so much trouble for this particular pumpkin, I am thoroughly surprised. Fact is that this pumpkin has a story behind it in terms of mine and Anna's working together to build a life together even while still living on separate farms. So now for a little background.
Last fall, Anna and I were shopping at a fruit market in her area. They had stocked up on pumpkins of all sorts, including some rather large red pumpkins, a variety I had grown in the past but lost seed of. Anna bought a large one (about 60 pounds) to try, and for the seeds. During the winter, the pumpkin was damaged and began to rot. Anna managed to save some of the seeds and started some for the spring. Between heat, drought, bugs and other critters, most did not survive. Anna still has two or three plants and I still have two, but this pumpkin is our best chance of hanging on to the seed and for her to get to finally taste this type of pumpkin. It would really be nice for the price of the pumpkin Anna bought last fall not to be wasted, and for us to be able to carry on this variety from that purchase would be even better. It is truly a symbol of Anna and I working together, while separate, to bring our two farms together, and for that reason it is really an important little pumpkin.