The Root

One gardener’s quest to get to the bottom of it all.

Bonfiring Our Way to a Pumpkin Patch May 12, 2008

Saturday evening my mother set a brushpile aflame. It was a gorgeous and unnervingly powerful thing; we had to stand 15 feet back from it, for all the heat it threw off.

Mom’s old mailbox smoldering hot as lava:

Freya was there with her pop, of course, taking it all in. Strike another off the bittersweet list of firsts: Baby’s first bonfire!

The day after, on our mutual Mothers’ Day of sunny yard-work, Mom discovered an unexpected boon: A fully-composted fir tree under the ash. So this bare round of earth is rich, clear, and large enough for my Jack-O’-Lantern pumpkin!

That’s one vine-plant that’s found a good home! As for the rest — the tomatoes, tomatilloes, and zucchini — they’ll soon find themselves down by the driveway or maybe along that fence at the bottom of the yard. Neville and I have hatched a plan for a wheeled raised bed that could sit in the driveway all summer, then be safely stored away come winter (and come man-high snowbanks and careless snowplowers). I’m, like, squealing excited and ready to saw, drill, dig, and transplant, but I have to wait out the coming frosts. Although it seems like the growing season is midway through, most of my stuff’s not even in the ground yet, and won’t be until Memorial Day, when the temps will be more consistent. That leaves us a good two weeks to finagle free or cheap building material, sturdy wheels, and then construct the thing. This gardening stuff all happens so fast and, then again, so slowly. I can positively feel the exuberant growth under the soil and it makes me burst with energy, but on any given day, there’s only so much I can do. (Multiply that feeling a hundredfold and it summarizes caring for a six-month-old.)

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2 Responses to “Bonfiring Our Way to a Pumpkin Patch”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Hey good luck with that pumpkin. My kids always love when I let the pumpkin vines grow wild. The neighbor wasn’t that happy about a vine going over the fence and up one of his trees though, so I’ll have to watch out for that.

    Hope your last frost comes soon (or maybe it already came and went). It’s hard to wait sometimes.

  2. cake Says:

    i really identify with your excitement and joy at raising plants, and, a little one. they seem connected for me too.


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