On an exciting note, our pumpkins are starting. I'm going to chronicle our summer and fall of pumpkin and watermelon growing this year. We have grown competition size pumpkins for 3 years now. This year we are going to attempt to recreate the first year. That year I planted the pumpkins right next to some watermelon. Then, our neighbors across the street cut down a large tree in their front yard. After the tree fell, approximately 40 gagillion bees that had been living happily in the hollowed out trunk of that tree became suddenly homeless. Do not dispair, though, they quickly found new accomodations. Behind the siding of the front corner of our house. I was at work, when this happened, but B called me saying that he couldn't see out of any of the windows on the front of the house because a swarm of bees was covering them. All of them. Yikes!
So, anyway, they rehomed themselves and we had to figure out what to do about all of these bees living in our house. (40 gagillion bees in your house cannot be good, right?) Turns out exterminators are not allowed to remove bees and you have to find a beekeeper. However beekeepers aren't always the best at not screwing up your house while trying to get the queen bee out, nor are they responsible for any repairs. So, after talking with many honey producers and a couple of beekeepers we decided to leave the bees alone and hope the winter killed them off (which it did). But, while we were providing shelter to the bees we were also attempting to grow our first crop of competition size pumpkins. We planted them right next to watermelons and thanks to the bees and their pollinating ways, we ended up with patermelons. They might just have been the best accident ever. We got our huge pumpkins and discovered when we carved them that the insides smelled like watermelon. No nasty pumpkin smell for us. It might have been the best pumpkin carving year ever. But, once our bees died off, our pumkin growing success died as well. Last year I had to pollinate the pumpkins myself and this year we are going to self pollinate again and try to recreate the patermelons. This time I'm saving the seeds. So, we have started about 6 pumpkin plants and 2 watermelon plants. And, we'll see how it goes. So, here are last years pumpkins:
And the year before that (these are the patermelons):
Self pollinating didn't happen until too late in the season, so we didn't get any humongous pumpkins, but this year we are more pumpkin smart and will have better results, I'm determined. And if things don't go according to plan, we may just have to start keeping bees out back as well. This is one of our baby pumpkin plants:
In an effort to make my son proud, I feel obligated to mention the fact that The Big Unit, Randy Johnson, earned his 300th win last night playing against the Nationals. Here is a picture Myles took of him last year, I think, when he got to see him playing for the Yankees.