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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 48 Entries.
Sunday, June 14 View Page
Hi everyone! I'm a bit late in starting my diary, but my pumpkin is off to a great start. I have three pumpkins going, and this is my best one so far (1400 Lopresti). The main vine is about 11 feet long right now. I have a pumpkin blog that has many photos and tons more information. You can visit that at http://www.suffersmart.com/category/pumpkin/. Also, I have a PUMPKIN CAM which takes a photo of my pumpkin patch every hour. The link for that is http://www.suffersmart.com/pumpkin-cam/. Enjoy!
 
Wednesday, June 17 View Page
I spent much of the day yesterday burying vines since I had fallen behind. Today I worked on the cucumber beetles. They were out of control just a few days ago, but with a spraying of neem oil and lots of tedious squishing, I think I have gotten them under control. I also applied a Captan paste on the stump to help it dry out and prevent it from rotting. I also have a fan blowing on it right now. The stem split as a seedling on a windy day, but the plant has been doing fine despite that. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?!
 
Wednesday, June 17 View Page
This is my 1400 Lopresti on 6/17/15. In the back you can also see my 1421 Gaboury. The 1400 Lopresti is much bigger because it gets more sun during the day, and it also had a heater running in its hoop house for a month when there were chilly nights. For hourly updates, visit my pumpkin cam at http://www.suffersmart.com/pumpkin-cam/
 
Saturday, June 20 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti is doing great. The cucumber beetles had a few days where they were taking over, but I spent A LOT of time squishing them, and they seem to be at a more manageable level. The leaves are a little scarred from it, but I think they'll push through it. I just special-ordered some beneficial nematodes at Blue Seal to attack any pests/larvae in the ground that could be destroying my roots. I've never used them before, but my boyfriend Dale highly suggested trying them. I also played around with some compost tea. I made a simple design with a 5 gallon bucket and a cheap air pump, and it seemed to work okay. I used the recipe in Don Langevin's book, How to Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins, the All-Organic Way. It consists of 5 gallons of water, 2 oz humic acid, 2 oz fish/seaweed fertilizer, 2 oz molasses, and 1 pound worm castings. I also put some seagull guano in it. There is no research or reasoning behind that one other than the fact that Dale suggested trying it. I'll be posting a blog soon with more details! Oh, and I forgot to mention. I had a baby pumpkin at 9 feet which I got rid of. I have another around 10 feet which I'll also get rid of, and I just saw a baby pop up at 14 feet. That will probably be the one! The main vine is 15 feet, and I FINALLY got around to getting some boards down to prevent soil compaction (bad Sarah). Hopefully my organic methods will allow the earthworms to thrive and make up for my negligence. I also read online about how to use a pitchfork to aerate your soil which I might give a try.
 
Monday, June 29 View Page
It's pollination day for the 1400 Lopresti! I have a 5-lobed female about 14 feet out on the main vine, and she is almost perpendicular to the vine. Couldn't ask for much more than that! I was not expecting the flower to open up today, and of course last night I was house sitting for somebody and didn't get to my house until about 1:30pm today. The flower was still open when I got there, so hopefully all is good. I didn't have any male flowers on my other "neglected" pumpkin plant at home, and I didn't have time to get to my 1695 Gaboury at the Bangor Community Garden, so I decided to self-pollinate this plant. Let the excitement begin!
 
Monday, June 29 View Page
Here's a photo of the baby. You can't see from this photo, but I have the vine in an S-curve to prevent the fruit from growing into the vine.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
The female I pollinated on the 1400 Lopresti started growing as planned. However, it hasn't grown at all for the past 3 days (I haven't actually measured it. It's pure observation), and I'm wondering if the fruit is going to abort. The temperatures have been in the 70s and 80s so I don't think it's that. I'm wondering if it's because I missed the "window" of pollination in the morning. Or, maybe I'm just obsessing over it too much and it will pick up growth in a few days. Either way, I have a backup female on the main vine 17 feet out, and it looks like she will open up tomorrow. I'm going to make sure I get up bright and early to check on her!
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
This is a photo of the back-up female 17 feet out on the main vine. I expect the flower to open up tomorrow. I'm doing an experiment this year with the vine. I mounded up a bunch of soil/compost/manure as preparation for the stem stress that will occur as the pumpkin grows. I'm hoping by doing this, I won't have to cut the roots as soon into the season since the pumpkin will grow down below the vine before it starts getting bigger and picking the vine up. I expect eventually I will have to cut the roots next to the pumpkin to relieve pressure on the vine, but I'm interested to see if this will help at all.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
This is a photo of the 1400 Lopresti with the 1421 Gaboury in the background. I have already terminated some of the secondary vines on the 1400 Lopresti because they are 15 feet long. The 1421 Gaboury is way behind, but starting to pick up growth. There was a female pumpkin at 6 feet, but I decided to wait for another one to come up a little further down the main vine.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
This is the 1695 Gaboury at the Bangor Community Garden. I only get there a few times a week, and the cucumber beetles are awful. We're not allowed to use any pesticides, not even organic ones, so the only way to get rid of the cucumber beetles is to manually kill them. I have a few members of the garden helping me out, and the plant is starting to grow out of it, but it is certainly scarred from it, and I hope it doesn't get any disease later in the year. There is a female 7.5 feet on the main vine which I think will open in 2-3 days. I will probably pollinate her, although I'd prefer something further out. I don't see any other females coming up yet, and I don't want to pollinate too late. My goal for this pumpkin is 500 pounds: a respectable weight for the gardeners and kids to enjoy, but not something I have to devote all my time to.
 
Saturday, July 4 View Page
In other news, check out my new license plate!
 
Tuesday, July 7 View Page
Good news: the stagnant pumpkin on the 1400 Lopresti has been growing! I started measuring it from stem to blossom end, and it gained an inch yesterday and today. The pumpkin is not falling into place very smoothly, and right now it's in a position where it wants to fall right back on the vine. I'm using some hard foam to prevent it from landing on the vine and getting scratched/scarred, and once it is a little bigger I will gently move it perpendicular to the vine. I still have the back-up pumpkin growing just to be safe.
 
Tuesday, July 7 View Page
Today I pollinated the 1695 Gaboury. The pumpkin is only 7.5 feet down the main vine, but I really want to start getting it to grow for the members and kids. She has 4 segments. I brought three male flowers from the 1400 Lopresti in case there weren't others on the 1695 Gaboury (there were). I still used the 1400 Lopresti flowers for pollination because the 1695 Gaboury's were infested with cucumber beetles and not looking vibrant. Since I didn't isolate the female flower with cheese cloth, we'll call this one an open pollination. These seeds are being donated to the Master Gardeners, so I don't think they'll care whether the seeds have known genetics or not.
 
Tuesday, July 7 View Page
This is another view of the 1695 Gaboury pumpkin.
 
Tuesday, July 7 View Page
This is a photo of the base of the first pumpkin I pollinated on the 1400 Lopresti. I really want this pumpkin to keep growing. I like that it has 5 lobes, and I like that I was able to get it pollinated in June. I also like how it has 3 roots that want to emerge on just one side of the vine! Thought that was interesting.
 
Sunday, July 12 View Page
1400 Lopresti, 13 DAP. I think she's a keeper! My back-up pumpkin is about the size of a baseball right now. The next pumpkin down on the main vine hasn't opened yet, but it looks like she might be a 7-lober based on the number of filaments on the flower.
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
I went out to the garden early this morning because my 1421 Gaboury was going to open today based on the way the flower looked yesterday. However, when I got out the flower was only partially open. I decided to collect some male flowers anyway, but for some reason none of my male flowers had visible pollen grains on them, almost like the rain had washed them all clean. And I have tons of males on both my plants. I decided to "paint" a few males onto that female anyway, and I'm going to leave it up to the bees to do the rest since I don't think my hand pollination was very effective. The pumpkin isn't very far out on the main vine and it's late for pollinating, so I'm not expecting much from this one, but I'm still excited to see how much it grows. It has 5 lobes, one of which is a bit deformed.
 
Friday, July 17 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti is looking great. I got rid of my backup pumpkin this morning after two days of slowly cutting the stem off. I'll probably start measuring soon to see how much she weighs!
 
Thursday, July 23 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti is an estimated 150 pounds today. I had to cut off one of the secondary vines the other day because the pumpkin was starting to grow onto it which would inhibit the main vine from lifting up with the pumpkin as it grew. I was amazed at the roots when I pulled up the vine. As explained before, many of the leaf nodes had up to 3 roots emerging on each side, and this is proof! I think this is where the "good seed" and "good luck" part of pumpkin growing come in smile.gif. I'll try getting some photos of the pumpkins up soon. I have been more busy than usual this week and haven't been able to dedicate much time to my plants.
 
Friday, July 24 View Page
This is the 1695 Gaboury at the Bangor Community Garden. I'm lucky if I get there once a week, so she's kind of on her own. The cucumber beetles have finally settled down, so the plant isn't getting eaten alive anymore. The guy who runs the garden doesn't want us tearing up the whole lawn to make our pumpkin patch, so I'm going to have to cut all the vines soon. We'll see how big of a pumpkin a little plant can produce. I'm way behind on burying vines with her, but she's still growing at a decent pace considering my negligence.
 
Friday, July 24 View Page
This is the 1421 Gaboury. I was late pollinating her, so she is the smallest so far. This plant is also in the shade a lot, but the plant itself is bigger than the 1695 Gaboury, probably since I'm able to spend more time with it at my house. I might bring this pumpkin to the Common Grounds Fair so my parents can see one of my pumpkins on display when they come up from NJ to visit at the end of September :).
 
Friday, July 24 View Page
Here's the 1400 Lopresti. Today her measurements put her at 171 pounds. This is the only plant that is on schedule with burying vines since I'm obviously going to devote my limited time to the "big one". I've terminated about 2/3 of her secondary vines. The plant is looking good despite some scarring from cucumber beetles earlier in the season. She's gaining about 15 pounds a day. I haven't watered much this week since the intermittent rain has kept the soil moist. I've been applying a compost tea once a week. I'm using the recipe from the book, "How to Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins, the All Organic Way." It consists of 1 pound of worm castings, 2 oz molasses, 2 oz humic acid, and 1 oz each of seaweed and fish emulsion. I have tons of earthworms in my soil which is a great sign. I also applied beneficial nematodes a few weeks ago. These guys attack grubs, cucumber beetle larva, and other "bad" root predators in the soil. Who knows if it will do anything, but I figured it couldn't hurt!
 
Tuesday, July 28 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti has been gaining a steady 18-20 pounds a day, and her estimated weight today was 252 pounds! During my daily "inspection" today, I noticed that she has started to develop a blossom end split. I cleaned up the "goo" that was coming out of it and put some Captan paste on it. I have not watered all week because the soil has been wet from the rain, and the only fertilizer I've done is a foliar spray of fish/seaweed and CalMag. I will hold off on all water and amendments until she starts to heal. I don't want my baby to explode! I will be doing some more research on blossom end splints, and I am open to other suggestions that you experts may have :).
 
Friday, July 31 View Page
I have been keeping a very close eye on the blossom end split on the 1400 Lopresti, not that I have much control over it. It actually hasn't progressed as much as I thought it would, and I am optimistic that it may grow out of it. Despite not watering or fertilizing it, it continues to gain more and more each day, and she is up to an estimated 324 pounds right now. Keep your fingers crossed!
 
Friday, July 31 View Page
Here's the 1400 Lopresti. She is stressing me out so much, but I love her!
 
Friday, July 31 View Page
The 1695 Gaboury is doing well. The plant isn't very big due to cucumber beetle damage and a cold spring, but her growth has certainly picked up, and she is up to an estimated 135 pounds. I pollinated her on July 7 at 7.5 feet out. The guy who tends the Bangor Community Garden is named Byron, and he has caught the Pumpkin Fever! Every day I go, he is out there measuring "Peanut" with a smile. He also built a bulletin board so I could put informational content up for the other gardeners. Both the kids and adults LOVE Peanut, and I'm happy to see it become such a big community builder. Although I'm doing the vine burying and fertilizing (in my spare time), I don't even have to water the pumpkin because so many gardeners have volunteered to do it. What fun! Byron wants to grow 6 pumpkins next year, and he is going to try and convince Bangor Parks and Rec to help till up the soil for some more pathes. The thought of that is very overwhelming, but I will definitely help him start some seedlings to see what we can do :).
 
Friday, July 31 View Page
The 1421 Gaboury is the smallest of all my pumpkins. I didn't have a heater for her in the spring, she is in a shadier spot, and I didn't get to pollinate her until July 17. We'll see what she can produce! I could have pollinated her at the same time as the 1695 Gaboury, but I decided I wanted something further down the main vine. I'm starting to think it's better to pollinate earlier than to wait for something to be at the ideal spot on the vine. We'll see at the end of the year which is more important.
 
Saturday, August 1 View Page
I had to make a difficult decision today. While inspecting the BES on the 1400 Lopresti this evening, I noticed the crack is getting deeper. My biggest fear is that the crack will go all the way through, which would mean the end of my pumpkin since it will start rotting the minute air enters the cavity. I am afraid it's on its way to doing that, so I decided to take some desperate measures. I read an article on a way to manage pumpkin cracks (http://www.bigpumpkins.com/ViewArticle.asp?id=52). Len Stellpflug shared an interesting method of healing splits. Basically what he does is he uses the "goo" from a fresh crack and packs as much into the crack as possible. He then puts latex caulking over it to seal it. At the end of the season, he cut open his two pumpkins, and both cracks had healed themselves. Since my BES was beyond the point of "bleeding," I used a pumpkin that I just cullled yesterday from my plant (I had a stray tertiary vine that I missed that had a small pumpkin growing on it). I was able to get some "goo" from that to stick in the crack. I added some Captan powder to hopefully prevent rot/infection, and then I sealed it with latex caulking. My pumpkin won't qualify for the official GPC weighoff with caulking on it. In a perfect world, the crack will heal and I'll be able to peel the caulking off. In a less-than-ideal world, I won't qualify for the official weigh-off, but at least I'll still have a viable pumpkin. I made my goal this year to grow a 1000 pound pumpkin. I don't need to win a state record or place in a weigh off, and if I can grow a 1000 pound pumpkin with some caulking on it, then that is still a success for me. Still better than losing a pumpkin because my BES went all the way through. We shall see what happens. I still have my two backup plants as well, although they aren't nearly as big as my 1400 Lopresti. I wish everyone else luck with their pumpkins since I now see how devastating this hobby can be after putting so much time into it.
 
Wednesday, August 5 View Page
Today my town got hit with a very severe hail storm. It only lasted a few minutes, but it destroyed my whole neighborhood with trees down everywhere. It also destroyed the two pumpkin plants in my backyard. I was absolutely devastated. I don't know if the pumpkin is "dead" yet, but I don't have high hopes. I do have a third pumpkin a few miles from home, and that one didn't get affected at all. That one (the 1695 Gaboury) is about 220 pounds and was my neglected back-up pumpkin. My big baby, the 1400 Lopresti, was 456 pounds today. We'll see what this plant is made of. I'm not giving up on her yet!
 
Wednesday, August 5 View Page
This is a picture of the hail when I got home, an hour and a half after the storm hit.
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
Despite my poor boyfriend trying to save pumpkin, the sheets, plastic, and raincoat did not protect the fruit much from the hail.
 
Thursday, August 6 View Page
This is the 1421 Gaboury. I wasn't too attached to her since she is behind and is my runt, but I am still sad for her.
 
Friday, August 7 View Page
This is an birds eye view of the 1400 Lopresti two days after the hail storm. The leaves look awful up close and have holes all throughout them. However, from far away you can appreciate how much the leaves have perked up. I have some new growth, but not much since I've terminated most of my vines. I have a "stray" vine a few feet long that is very close to the stump, so I'm going to let her take off and even let the tertiary vines on that one a little loose to get some more vegetation going!
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
Here's another view of the leaf damage on the 1400 Lopresti. It's hard to appreciate it unless you see it in person. In better news, the 1695 Gaboury at the Bangor Community Garden (just a few miles from my house) didn't get hit with any hail. The plant is small because I got sick of burying vines and tearing up the grass to keep up with the growth (it was just too overwhelming with me putting most of my energy into the ones at home), but now I'm kicking myself for not letting the vines get a little longer. I still have a few secondary vines growing on that one, and the pumpkin is up to almost 300 pounds. The kids and adults all love visiting "Peanut," and I think it's such a great community builder. SHe's a very deep yellow. Not sure if that's from taking too long to get shade over her, or if it means she's going to be a nice orange color. Pretty pumpkin candidate maybe?!
 
Saturday, August 8 View Page
Below is a link to a video of the hail storm that destroyed my pumpkin plant. My boyfriend was setting up his new GoPro when the hail hit, so he was able to get everything on video. You can also listen to phone call that poor Dale had to make to me. http://www.suffersmart.com/hail
 
Saturday, August 15 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti is still fighting despite lots of hail damage. I have new leaves coming up which are brightening up the patch a bit. I'm cleaning up the worst of leaves a little bit each day, but I'm trying not to get rid of too many. I'm basically just cutting off the ones that are brown and wilted. Some days the pumpkin only gains 10 pounds or so, but other days (like today) she'll do close to 40 pounds. OTT was 321 inches as of this morning, which puts her at 722 pounds according to the 2013 chart that I have. I think I still have a chance of hitting my 1000 pound goal! That would be so awesome!
 
Saturday, August 22 View Page
This is the 1695 Gaboury at the Bangor Community Garden. I'm amazed at how well she's doing. She didn't get hit with the hail storm like my other pumpkins, but I don't get over there much and I don't fertilize very often since I don't have a lot of time. I'm wishing I spent more time with her because she is doing pretty well and is developing a beautiful orange color. OTT today was 297, putting her at an estimated 577 pounds. The 1400 Lopresti is still chugging along. The hail-damaged leaves are looking pretty bad despite using a fungicide and seaweed fertilizer on them. Luckily there's lots of new leaf growth coming in. Maybe the new leaves will give her some vigor later this season.
 
Monday, August 24 View Page
This is a photo of the 1400 Lopresti. She's getting lots of new leaf growth, and I feel like I'm starting all over again with burying the vines. I thought I was done with that! I'm cutting away the dead, brown leaves to allow room for the new growth to come in. OTT today was 341, putting her at an estimated 860 pounds. She's not growing super fast, but she's still growing.
 
Monday, August 24 View Page
I saw the coolest thing today. While cutting leaves that were rotting/dying/etc., I noticed that one of the leaves had a root growing up through its hollow cavity. I cut a cross-section of it, and it was quite a long root! Once it got to the top of the leaf, it turned back around and continued growing down to the ground. I thought that was pretty cool!
 
Saturday, August 29 View Page
The 1400 Lopresti has an OTT of 348, putting her at an estimated 912 pounds. The hail storm on August 5 really slowed her down, but I'm still close to my 1000 pound goal! Either way, I'm sure I have grown a personal best. The 1421 Gaboury had an OTT of 245 on August 27, putting her at 330 pounds. She's going to be my little fair pumpkin at the Common Grounds Fair (she'll be the ugly one with the hail marks). My backyard isn't very big, and this plant doesn't get as much sun as the 1400 Lopresti. I decided next year I'm going to only have one plant in my backyard. It's just too much work for me, and I feel like it isn't worth the time and extra fertilizer to grow a pumpkin in a stinky spot. I might plant more at the Bangor Community Garden, but I can enlist some help there if I need to! I haven't checked on the 1695 Gaboury in a few days, but she continues to grow and is probably in the 600 pound range. She is a beautiful orange color. I just sent a letter to Stephen King to see if he wants to showcase this pumpkin out in his front yard in Bangor for Halloween :).
 
Wednesday, September 23 View Page
It's been a while since I posted an update. Below is a photo of me and the 1400 Lopresti on September 15, 2015. I don't know her numbers off hand, but I think her estimated weight will be around 1100 pounds by weigh-off time. I'm very pleased with this, and I feel that if I could produce a pumpkin that size with the bad luck I had this year, then I probably have a chance of getting another personal best next year IF I can somehow avoid all tragedies! I would love to grow a record pumpkin, but I think it's important to focus on personal bests, trying your hardest, and not setting yourself up for disappointment in case some sort of tragedy happens. The 1695 Gaboury is an estimated 800 pounds if I remember correctly. The Bangor Community Garden is hoping to get some press involved when we lift and transport her to Damariscotta. She is very orange! It sounds like Elroy had good luck with his 1695 Gaboury, and I wonder what mine would be like if I didn't neglect it. To be honest, I thought she would only get to 500 pounds or so because I couldn't commit the time to her, so I am very pleased with how she turned out. I'm curious to see if Elroy's 1695 Gaboury is orange like mine! The 1421 Gaboury is about 500 pounds. Next year, I'm going to turn that part of the garden into a patch for cute decorative pumpkins, gourds, etc. since it's too shady to grow a big giant. We'll be bringing her to the Common Grounds Fair this weekend for display. I might also bring her to the Damariscotta weigh-off to see how much she weighs and see if she could be used at the fair. Today Dale and I built a tripod to lift the 1421 Gaboury since we need to bring her to the fair tomorrow. We tested the tripod by lifting me as I was dangling from it, and it seemed to work well! We'll see how it does with an extra 400 pounds! We also had to spend some time asking around for a trailer since Dale's truck isn't big enough to fit the 1695 Gaboury or 1400 Lopresti. His truck is not a full size, so it looks like next week I'll be taking lessons on how to tow a trailer! It's definitely going to be busy the next two weeks.
 
Sunday, October 18 View Page
It's been a while since I've updated things, so here's a summary of what's been going on. I'll do this in a few posts so I can add photos. Dale and I built a tripod to lift the pumpkins, and it worked great! At first, we had a piece of rebar holding the pieces of wood together at the top, but it bent when accidentally dropped the structure when we were trying to set it up. Having a bent piece of rebar above your head, pointing directly at you, is very unnerving when you're lifting a 1000 pound object. Dale and I were definitely scared for our lives a few times, but everything went well, and we replaced the rebar with a bolt the second time around.
 
Sunday, October 18 View Page
I successfully learned how to drive the trailer, and pumpkin loading was a success. My first trip was down to the Deerfield Fair in NH on October 1. I was going to drive down the day before and stay with a friend, but we got slammed with rain, and I didn't want to take a chance with driving the trailer. This was the day Portland flooded really bad. I brought the 1400 Lopresti to this one because I wanted to save the 1695 Gaboury (The Bangor Community Garden pumpkin) for Damariscotta, which was closer for the community members to go to. The 1400 Lopresti's estimated weight was 1177 pounds, and she ended up weighing 1185 pounds! I was super happy with this after what happened with the hail storm. She ended up making it into the top 5, which meant I had to leave her at the fair for exhibition. Ron Wallace won first place with his 1790.5 pound pumpkin.
 
Sunday, October 18 View Page
After the Deerfield Fair, I had to drive 3.5 hours back up to Bangor with an empty trailer to load up the 1695 Gaboury for the next weigh off in Damariscotta. I learned quickly that tolls are more expensive when you have an extra axle with you. The Bangor Daily news wrote a good story about the 1695 Gaboury, and Channel 5 came as well: http://bangordailynews.com/2015/10/03/news/bangor/800-pound-peanut-grown-at-bangor-community-garden-heads-to-damariscotta/ http://wabi.tv/2015/10/03/couple-grows-800-pound-pumpkin-in-bangor/ At the beginning of the season, my goal for the 1695 Gaboury was to hit 500 pounds since I knew I wouldn't be able to get over there a lot. She ended up weighing 867 pounds, and I was pumped! Byron from the community garden joined us for the weigh off, and I think he enjoyed it. He definitely has pumpkin fever, and I lent him some of my books so he can learn more about the fine details of giant pumpkin growing. The "867 Whitty" was turned into a motor boat at the Damariscotta Pumpkinboat Regatta. Dale and I paddled regular pumpkin boats, and we won the finals! It was a blast.
 
Tuesday, October 20 View Page
This is a photo of Peanut the pumpkin motor boat!
 
Tuesday, October 20 View Page
Tom did a great job making the motor boat. Since "Peanut" weighed 867 pounds, Tom did a them based on the song 867-5309. What a riot! Peanut got 3rd in the motorboat race.
 
Tuesday, October 20 View Page
The next thing I had to do was drive back down to NH to pick up the "1185 Whitty." I brought her back home, and we put her in the front yard, which the neighbors loved! I even got a photo of my mailman taking a photo of the pumpkin :). Many neighbors stopped by to visit the pumpkin, one being the "town forester." I offered him some of my seeds, and he told me about a spot in town that I could use for a pumpkin patch if I needed to. I thought that was pretty awesome! I might check it out, but I honestly don't think I'll have enough time to manage that many pumpkins next year in all these different places.
 
Tuesday, October 20 View Page
Right after spending 2 hours with the news reporter carving the Jack-O-Lantern, Dale and I went to pick up some free cow manure while we still had the trailer. We were borrowing the trailer from a friend, but he did offer us the trailer for $1000 which was a pretty good deal. We were debating on doing this. Well, let's just say this was the most expensive "free" manure we've ever gotten, and we definitely decided the trailer was ours by the end of the day: So Dale and I drove out to his grandfather's cow farm. His friend loaded up the trailer with cow manure, about 6 tractor buckets full. We were really excited because this was the same manure pile that we got manure from this spring, and the pile has just been sitting there composting all summer. This stuff was black gold, and it looked beautiful. We got a little greedy, and Dale asked for 1 more load, to which the guy said, "Sure, since I won't be the one driving around with a broken trailer axle." (Can you guess where this is going?). A few miles after leaving the farm, the tires started smoking. It turns out we WAY overloaded the trailer, and the axle bent, causing the wheels to turn in and rub against the metal wheel wells. We drove really slow to get to a safe spot to pull over, and while we were doing that, the right trailer tire blew. We got the trailer off to the side of the road as best we could, and we got out to investigate. Basically, we were screwed. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere, and we couldn't even unhook the trailer from the truck since there was too much weight in the trailer, and Dale's car jack couldn't even support that weight. We totally forgot to bring a shovel with us because the news lady ended up staying longer than expected, and we were rushing to get the manure since Dale had to work in a few hours. Many people stopped to check to see if we were okay. One was an 80-year-old man. He helped us figure out a plan, and he explained to us that he is a 3-time cancer survivor, and has learned that helping people is the best medicine for him. Another man in his 70s stopped by, and he helped us as well. He drove to his house down the road, and then came back on his ATV with a shovel, other tools, and a hydraulic jack. Dale started shoveling the manure into the bed of his truck, and we talked to the old guy some more. We told him why we were getting the manure, and I happened to have the Bangor Daily News in my car so I could show him the story of our pumpkin. He saw it and said, "Oh, I already saw that in the paper. It's Peanut, right!?" We talked some more, and the old man summed everything up perfectly. "The best way to learn is to make mistakes." Aint that the truth! We were able to use the hydraulic jack to lift the trailer off the truck, and we drove 30 minutes home with our first load of manure. Unfortunately, Dale had to leave for work, so I had to take care of the rest with the help of two of our friends. Over the course of 6 hours, we l
 

 

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