Monday, August 27, 2012

First Of The Season

 Summer disappeared. Seriously, what happened to summer?! Wasn't it only yesterday how I was remarking how July had passed us by so quickly and it was already August? It happened again. August has passed us by in a flash and it's already going on September. Back to school, cool nights, harvest, falling leaves, changing colours, and not too long now and it will be Halloween.

The days are still sunny and warm, but getting shorter and cooler at nights. There are subtle signs of some trees readying for fall, with even the occasional dead leaf already falling. While I'm excited for the season, as it is my favorite, I'm also sad to see summer go in what feels like a flash. Farmers here seem to be starting harvest early this year and it only adds to that fall feeling.

The first pumpkin came out of the patch just the other day and there are a few pumpkins not too far behind. While a part of me wishes I had planted regular larger pumpkins for carving, I know these were the better choice for just starting out, being smaller and less nutrient intensive...and just plain adorable. I have three rouge vif d'etampes on the way, as well as three caspers. Overall a vast improvement over last years disappointments. I can only imagine what I could do next year with the wealth of knowledge I've acquired through all of this.
With that I will leave you, and say...Fall here we come!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Small Sugar Sweeties

For this years final variety of pumpkins I went with a more classic pie size pumpkin, the "small sugar" pumpkin. This variety has your classic beautiful orange colour, but in a smaller size of around 8" wide. After last years disappointments I felt trying a variety that was smaller in size and less nutrient intensive than some larger varieties may yield a half way decent crop compared to last years. So far things are looking promising and the pumpkins are coming along as planned, with three just about at the point of turning into the storybook orange globes we all know and love.

The small sugars are another heirloom variety, and one that is perfect for making pumpkin pie because of their size and, as you may have guessed from their name, their sweet taste. Perhaps this year pumpkin pie making is an order. Not just any pie, either. Organic, home made with lots of love pumpkin pie. I'm not even sure of the last time I've had anything that wasn't store bought or out of a can, which just doesn't seem right to me.

So, despite the fact that I will not have larger carving pumpkins from my garden this year, it seems I will have many unique looking pumpkins, and smaller pumpkins to fill up my fall and Halloween festivities. I think I like it better that way anyways. Should all continue to go well this year, I believe next year I will be likely to use each variety again, as well as look into other unique heirloom seeds.

Not long now and it will be harvest...
Halloween is on it's way...

(Note that these photos have been taken over a period of time, with some growth noticeable in the photos)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Casper's Friendly Pumpkin

White it's not quite the classical pumpkin, in the traditional orange sense, but the "Casper" variety is so unique and interesting in it's own way. As you might have guessed it is named so because of it's white colour. Of the three varieties of pumpkin I decided to grow this year I was actually the least excited about this variety at the start, for no particular reason. Perhaps it's because I, like many, am stuck on the storybook feel of an orange pumpkin...and it's one of my favorite colours.

Just like the Rouge Vif d'Etampe variety, the Caspers have a unique look right from the start. While the rouge variety is flat from the start and yellow in colour as it grows, the Casper pumpkins start out quite long, thin and green in colour when they are bulbs. As they grow they continue to grow long and quite slender and become white in colour. In time these elegant white lovelies will eventually fill out into a more classic pumpkin shape.

The last of my three growing pumpkin varieties is quite a bit more common but equally special in the pumpkin world. Check back soon for a peak at the final variety, and updates on my pumpkin patch as my gorgeous gourds grow up for fall.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Here We Grow!

Summer is flying by, and I'm so proud to say my pumpkin patch is doing so well this year. Pumpkins pop up each day and so far I have counted sixteen that have taken to the pollination and are growing as I type. If any one recalls my posts from last year, you can imagine how much more excited I am to actually see progress and a potentially very successful crop ahead.

This year I chose three different varieties of pumpkin seeds from Cubits on etsy, and the one I think I'm most looking forward to are the rouge vif d'etampes variety, sometimes better known as "Cinderella" pumpkins. They are a wonderful heirloom variety and oh so ornate looking. I currently have one that's already getting bigger and a few more on their way to being pollinated.

What I found rather strange and unexpected through all of this is the fact that, despite the "Cinderella" variety being a beautiful red orange colour when ripe, they are yellow when growing. At first I had thought they were just dying off, or something was wrong. Keeping watch on my new found variety, it seemed to be growing despite it's funny colour. When I see a yellowing pumpkin bulb it's usually a sign that it didn't get pollinated properly (or at all) and is about to die off, so you can imagine my surprise when it continued to get bigger. Upon doing some internet searching I came to find that this was actually the way this variety grows. We learn something new every day, don't we?

Check back later for more of my pumpkin patch updates and interesting tidbits on different pumpkin varieties!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

First Of August Finds

While they may not be garage sale or vintage finds, I'm feeling like boasting about my latest steals. Today my nearest Zellers store was on it's final sale, with everything being 90% off and numerous random in store promotions while you're there. The fella and I stopped in to take a gander, and perhaps something might catch our fancy.

While there really was hardly anything left, I did manage to pick out three relatively decent looking pairs of shoes for only $1 each. Yes, only a dollar. I snapped them up. After all, I was really needing a new pair of flats, and I'm a bit of a cheapskate. So it all works out for me I guess. Adding to my cart I gathered up six pairs of warm tights for fall and winter (since I'm always cold) that were 49 to 89 cents each, a complete steal for warm cotton stockings if I do say so myself. The fella managed to find two games he felt were worth the gamble (and to add to his relatively bare looking new game shelf) for under $2.

We had thought about staying to watch them lock up the doors, all dramatic and sad, but we were both tired after a long hot day and decided to just head home. I went in one last time before we left to see what, if anything, would be left...perhaps pick up one last pair of shoes...but, alas, it was practically bare. We went on our way...and to that, we bid farewell to Zellers.

On that note, I will leave you with a vintage advertisement from a February 1960 copy of Chatelaine featuring some stockings and shoes. August here we go!