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Our long growing season in Las Vegas means I had a ripe pumpkin in late July. When the rind was hard (it didn’t indent when I pressed my nail into it), I cut it leaving a 3-4 inch stem. I placed the pumpkin on my dining table, until I had time to find a darker place for it. Days passed, as they do when you procrastinate.

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Pumpkin (prior to greening) and more harvested on July 31st

And then I noticed it. Dark green splotches on my bright orange pumpkin. Was it not ripe when I cut it from the vine? Was it rotting from the inside? Was it diseased? Did I get a photo?

No. But from what I can ascertain, a fully ripe pumpkin turning green is just something that happens sometimes; a reverse of its photosynthesis, although I couldn’t quite find out why. (Although I do have theories: a reversion to a childhood state indicates a need for psychotherapy.) Most likely it happened from being cut from the vine but still exposed to small amounts of sunlight on my dining room table.

Just to be certain it wasn’t going to go bad (it was the only pumpkin we got from our vines and I didn’t want to risk losing it), I decided to forego the common sense technique of storing the dang thing in the dark to see if it changed back and processed it for freezing instead. That I got a picture of!

I cut the pumpkin into giant chunks, removed the seeds and stringy parts, and boiled the pieces until they were soft. Then I removed the rinds, blended the pulp until it was smooth and froze them in the amounts needed for my Spiced Pumpkin Bread. Next time, I’ll remember to hide the pumpkin in the dark in the first place and save myself a lot of unnecessary work!

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One pumpkin yielded 5 cups of puree

Tara’s Spiced Pumpkin Bread

This is my own recipe, can you believe it? Cooking may not be my strong point but I do love to bake. And I could live off this bread. It’s so goooood!

  • 3 cups of organic sugar (I’ve used 2 cups when I was running low and couldn’t tell the difference)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups of flour (I’ve used whole wheat, white wheat and all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of raisins

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees

2. Butter/oil/grease and flour two bread pans

3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil.

4. Mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. Sift in flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder and mix well. Stir in raisins.

6. Pour into pans, filling them about 2/3’s full. Bake for 45-60 minutes (I have no idea why it varies so much but it does. Every time.)

I like to devour the slices warm with melted butter. Mmmmm…

Who else is happy baking season is upon us? 🙂

Tara blogs more about her garden, family
and occasional kitchen successes at
TheOrganicSister.

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I don’t know about you but at the end of the main growing season I always have all these notes in my head about what I loved and what I would do differently next spring.

So instead of taking the time to go try to find some paper that isn’t wrinkled and scribbled on and a pen that actually has ink…and then try to keep track of the list for 9 months…

I am going to make my ‘notes to self’ right here on the blog…hope nobody minds.

NOTES TO SELF

  • Tomato cages are wayyyyy better than this…it worked well for the cool spring but tomatoes need cages to grow up in…those tunnels did not control them nearly enough.

tomato tunnel

  • Remember to build more tomato cages before next year.
  • Yarn does NOT work as well as twine for green beans, it stretches in the rain and all the beans fall down…so don’t be lazy and go find the twine next time!
  • Put a self-closing hing on the garden gate…the dog likes cucumbers.
  • While we are on it…cucumbers do well with water.  Bitter is not the best flavor.Plant more flowers…

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  • Make more compost.
  • Growing peppers and eggplant in tunnels is an EXCELLENT idea, please remember do this again.

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  • Pumpkins are great fun to grow…more are needed next year.  Try some new colors.

blk wht pumpkins

  • Squash takes up a LOT of room, remember this so the compost bin doesn’t get covered with vines.
  • Barrels are great for potatoes but you would need many, many more to have a large harvest.
  • Plant out gourds sooner…

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  • Plant out cantaloupe later.

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  • Yum, yum peppers are simply the cutest and sweetest peppers ever…grow lots more!
  • 6 foot wire fencing is perfect for growing peas.

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  • Chickens fly…chickens escape…chickens invade!
  • Chickens love young pumpkins, which will grow up to be ugly hen pecked pumpkins.

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  • Remember to enjoy the process…
  • Always, always  involve the kids…even when they annoy you.

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  • And don’t hate the camel for doing what a camels does…

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Which is anything he can do to try to reach your precious garden.

  • Reinforce the garden fence!

Finally…

Remember why you do this every year…

For the health of your family and the health of the planet.

Besides…

Its fun!

So fellow gardeners…what notes have you made to yourself for next year?

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