Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Pumpkin Story

I planted some pumpkin seeds a few months ago after making pumpkin soup.
To my delight, they started to grow, and soon there were 7 clumps of growing Pumpkin Seeds. Only one vine grew in abandoned splendor. The others sort of shriveled and struggled and complained in their knotted clumps, and did not extend beyond a small circumference.

This one was soon full of flowers, and then there was a small pumpkin.

The gardener came to tell me that this was a surprise, as 'there are no bees in Cloncurry, and the flowers have to be hand fertilized'

This set both of us on a new learning curve. I did photograph some bees in the white gum flowers. They were small wild bees, but maybe this pumpkin had been fertilized by ants or even the little lizards that live in the vicinity.
We learnt that there are male and female flowers. It was all explained to me and when I went to do some fertilizing, the vine was full of male flowers.
Then we saw that the female flowers have a tiny pumpkin below the bloom and if not fertilized, the pumpkin simply falls off.
We also learnt that the other vines only have male flowers which could be the reason they have not grown any bigger.
We tried fertilizing. The flowers are full open in the morning and that was the best time. We have two more pumpkins about the size of a tennis ball. This one is nearly ready.
Pumpkin soup for all the Cooking Students or maybe Pumpkin Tart.

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