Middlefield Pumpkins

Middlefield, Connecticut

” I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”     Henry David Thoreau.

click any image to enlarge

I had been feeling homesick for a brisk Autumn day, dried leaves underfoot, a colored forest canopy, a walk through an orchard. Funny how wishes come true. An urgent family matter arose and unexpectedly I was in central Connecticut mid October. The first free opportunity after business was put to rest my son and I  drove off to wander the back roads. Random roads, stone walls, reminiscing the farms and countryside of our boyhoods. New England.

I remembered an orchard on a hill in the area and winding along the way  found a field of pumpkins. The traditional American pumpkin we are all familiar with is the  Connecticut field variety. A pumpkin is the fruit of the species Cocurbita pepo or Cocurbita mixta and is native to North America as are many other squash.  Most every part of the versatile pumpkin is edible, the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, flowers and a medical extract.  In the southwest the flowers of pumpkin and squash are a popular edible garnish When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed or roasted. It can be eaten stuffed, mashed or pureed, in soups, breads, pies, for sweet deserts, in New Zealand they roast it with vegetables, Italy uses it for ravioli and China uses the leaves for soup or as a cooked vegetable. Did you know that pumpkins can be stored for several months if kept in a dark dry place with a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees? Pureed pumpkin can be frozen and will last up to a year.

Pumpkin muffins, Black bean and roast pumpkin salad, pumpkin chipotle soup, beef and pumpkin stew, chocolate pumpkin pudding. This link has fabulous free recipes for this crop.   www.pumpkinrecipes.org/  Eating fresh in season fruits and vegetables ensures health. Locally grown food is even better. There are a lot of good meals in a pumpkin, which are high in alpha and beta carotene by the way.  The harvest is near end so if you hurry you can still take advantage and just might find some discounted prices. I’d say 25 or 30 lbs. would do.

The day was wonderful. An easy afternoon. Just as I had imagined. My dream complete. The air was cool, a side road,  small farm, walking the garden rows with my son, talking about the harvest. Giving thanks.

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About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
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10 Responses to Middlefield Pumpkins

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Some more pumpkins for you — from a little ways north, Massachusetts, to be precise!
    http://touch2touch.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/october-is-orange-and-blue-and-pumpkins/
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy Thanksgiving, it’s never too early for good wishes —

  2. What a lovely pumpkin patch! My goodness. How beautiful. I planted two pumpkins in the garden and they are running all over the place! I had to unwrap the little “fingers” from my collard greens and carrot tops today. Made me laugh. It was like making a child let go of something.
    I had no idea you could eat the pumpkin flowers. And pumpkin muffins sound delish. Black bean and roasted pumpkin salad sounds good too. This year, rather than just have a jack-o-lantern and roasted seeds, I want to try and make pumpkin pie with the insides. We’ll see….

  3. rastelly says:

    I was shocked by the diversity of creatures
    that appeared after my pumkin patch began
    to cover the back yard. Did you know there
    is solitary nocturnal bee who’s sole purpose
    is to pollenate pumkin and squash flowers?
    The males sleep inside the flowers waiting
    for the ladies to arrive. A large red wasp
    fooled me, It turned out to be a moth pest
    who’s caterpillars were eating the stems. I
    don’t think I’ve ever discovered more insects
    in the same day.

    • All species find a habitat. Traditionally pumpkins and squash were pollinated by the Squash Bee. Since this bee has been in decline commercial growers alternative has been the common honey bee. These hives have also suffered severe setbacks in the past few years. The final alternative is hand pollination…or no more pumpkins. Very cool stories from the patch. mahalo

  4. Tess Kann says:

    My favourite time of fall is just before Halloween and all the varieties of pumpkins to be had now: grew, white and the ever popular orange, my favourite colour. I don’t like the perfect ones, the pretty ones, the ones that don’t need extra love. I like the thorny, lopsided, imperfect ones.

    Nice pictures!!

  5. Candy says:

    Picking out Halloween pumpkins when my children were small was favorite seasonal excursion. We went to the same local farm each year, where the elderly woman owner gave instructions on how to make pumpkin soup to the adults. For the children, she often handed out an extra pumpkin “one for carving” and “one for eating”. My kids picked pumpkins with “special features” they liked best – tall, squat or a big curly stem or so big it took help to put in the car. After carving and pulling out the “goop”, all the seeds were collected and roasted in the oven for days worth of snacking.

  6. Paul says:

    Fall is my favorite time of the year — and there’s nothing like a pumpkin patch in Autumn. Thanks for your report from the pumpkin patch.

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