Garlic & Gooseberries: My Runaway Pumpkin

by , under Garlic and Gooseberries, Thoughts on This and That

As I was leaving the community garden the other day, I happen to glance back and I gasped. From where I was standing on the path I could see into my neighbors’ plot, and there, on their side of the fence between our gardens, was a sweet little pumpkin. MY sweet little pumpkin.IMG_2729

A vine from my garden, the renegade that had saved itself from the zucchinis by leaping over the brick path, had forged ahead right through the chicken-wire fence, on its way to freedom. There, in celebration, it produced a pumpkin, perfect in every way.

I choked up, I couldn’t breath, I sputtered: “But that’s MY pumpkin!”

On further inspection, it looks like the neighbors have built up a platform of blocks for it to rest on and ripen, knowing it wouldn’t have survived dangling from the fence. How kind.Runaway pumpkin

I have mixed feelings.

It looks so happy there, my little runaway pumpkin. It has its own platform on which to catch the fall sun, away from powdery mildew and aggressive zucchini, yet sheltered by the nearby protective sage leaves. I admit to feeling a bit rejected, but for heaven’s sake: it’s a pumpkin. Really, the vine was very clever in figuring out how to save itself and provide a better life for its offspring, though it still has one little pumpkin hanging out in the kale and cilantro patch.

I check on it every time I go, but I am not sure what else to do. So,  I guess I will be happy, and grateful for my neighbors. It takes a village to raise a pumpkin, after all.IMG_2730

  1. kmkoplik

    I love the image of the runaway pumpkin. It began its life in your garden; it scrambled up and through the fence following its own pumpkin leadings and it rests and ripens on a secure perch provided by your neighbors. Sounds like the soul of community gardening and is a lovely metaphor for community itself. What is really ours? What do we ever own? There is so much for me to sit with and ponder in this sweet story. Thank you for sharing it. Ellen.

  2. Jayne Kercheval

    The picture is breathtaking. Such an adorable pumpkin beneath the sage. Thanks for sharing the picture and the story.


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