Little baby Gourdon

my Jarrahdale pumpkin, the good side

We'd like to welcome a new addition to the family. He's a beautiful C. pepo Jarrahdale, harvested today, after 58 days of fruiting (126 days plant age). We have named him Gourdon.

I was going to wait til the plant died completely, but Gourdon looked ripe enough. His wound started looking strange, and ants were creeping under the band-aid, so thought it best to bring him indoors.

my first pumpkin

Here he is with sunburn and wound, which I only noticed after harvesting had hardened up a bit. I could have gotten away with letting him grow for longer.

close up of sunburn and wound

It's interesting to see how plants recover. The hole is rough and hard now, like a callous.

scab from early trauma

Here's a scab from trauma earlier in Gourdon's life. He started growing into his trellis one day, and got stuck. Big old scrape as we pulled him out; the blisters repaired quickly. Looks a mess now, but that's life, innit.

pumpkin smaller than a cat

He is smaller than a cat. Probably about the size of a small cat curled up for a nap. I like to think he could have been bigger if we had more space, and a watering system more reliable than me.

my Jarrahdale pumpkin, from behind

I've learned heaps from this adventure - and I don't mean just how to grow a pumpkin!

Firstly, to achieve your goals, you must respond to problems that come up - be it sunburn, flesh wounds, or general life stuff. You can't wait around hoping things will fix themselves. Of course, you can't control everything, but what you can control can help tip the odds in your favour. And it's nice to have odds in your favour.

Secondly, everything comes and goes with the season, including the motivation to tend plants for 20 minutes a day. It's one thing to be excited and enthusiastic, another thing entirely to be disciplined and commited. Success requires all the things, and where you wane, you need loving, supportive people around you to help keep you going.

Finally, however much you obsess over your beloved vegetable, the fact that you can harvest early, cut off the gross bits, and eat the rest shows this is not at all like having a child. So I can put to rest my dreams of Gourdon growing up to be a football star or Greens senator.

The best I hope for will be curry or a pie.