Musque de Provence “French Cheese” Pumpkins

Did you wonder what happened to these beautiful “French Cheese” pumpkins, I grew in the Community Garden over the Summer? Remember when I photographed them, they were still green and had to grow a little bit more?

Let me go back a little bit. Christi picked up a “French Cheese” pumpkin from a local nursery as Autumn decoration for her house in October 2016. When the season was over, she made pumpkin puree for soups and pies. The seeds got cleaned up and stored for sowing in the following Spring.

Spring 2017 approached, and Christi had about four or five plants from the seeds, she’d been sowing earlier in the year. She asked me, if I liked a couple of plants. “Sure! I love to take a couple!” I said. After I planted the little pumpkin seedlings, I watered them. Christi and I stared at the plants for a moment. “Let’s see, how they will do in the garden.” she wondered. I nodded: “I’ll be excited, if we see pumpkins!”

At the end of Summer, we saw a couple of pumpkins. Each plant produced one squash. I know, that is not much. But I was stoked seeing at least one of each, after we were fighting the squash vine borers all Summer.

In Autumn I decided to clean up the bed and harvest the pumpkins. Christi was a little bit hesitant, because both pumpkins were still more green than orange. I assured: “They will cure for a while and gain their color. I don’t want them to get too ripe, and the critters will have a feast.” She agreed, and I picked the pumpkins.

Now, it is December. And the French Cheese pumpkins gained their color. At this moment, they sit on my couch table next to my little Christmas pine tree. I know, it might look awkward a little bit. But I can’t let go of Autumn, yet. And I want to wait to make pumpkin pie at Yule/Winter Solstice. If the weather is cool enough, I might make a “Curried Pumpkin Soup”.

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Musque de Provence “French Cheese” Pumpkins gained their orange color.

Winter Vegetables In The Colony Community Garden

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One of our volunteer gardeners planted a bunch of cabbages and other Winter vegetables. When Kevin and I came to the Community Garden to check on things, he pointed out a cabbage head and the cauliflower in Katie’s raised bed. I’m so excited seeing the Winter crop growing and producing wonderful vegetables.

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Preparing The Community Garden For The Upcoming Winter Season

This morning I watered and checked on the plants at the Community Garden. We still have to pick several cherry tomatoes, peppers and some basil for the pantry.Β With a light freeze coming up this weekend, we are prepared for the cooler season in the Community Garden. The broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, kale and root vegetables will be fine during the cool spell. And the pansies, snapdragons, sweet william, and violas love this cooler weather anyway. Here are some photos of what’s growing in the garden, now.

Autumn Fruits And Vegetables In The Colony Church/Community Garden

This morning was cool enough to get some work done at the Community Garden. My bed desperately needed some clean up. The squash bugs got to my zucchini plant, and some of the flowers were just wilted from the heat of Summer. One of my sunflowers was ready to get harvested. And I needed to make some room for more Autumn/Winter vegetables.

After the clean-up and watering, Christi and Wally harvested quite a bit of okra for the food bank. I can see a delicious gumbo in the future. πŸ˜‰ Meanwhile, I walked around and captured photos of both gardens. When it gets a little bit cooler here in North Texas, we all will be much busier building more raised beds, cleaning out the older raised beds and get the garden ready for the Autumn/Winter season. Here you can see what’s growing in the gardens right now:

Blooming Hyacinth Beans

After late Spring sowing, the Hyacinth Bean began to bloom in the Community Garden a few days, ago. They are so pretty! My Hyacinth Bean plants in my home garden seem to take a little bit longer. But they are not in the sun all day. And I was sowing them several days later. It all takes time and patience. Eventually mine will bloom, too.

Blooms In The Colony Community Garden

Over the last few months, the Community Garden had some yield for the local pantry. And the plants still keep growing. Soon, we’ll plant for the Autumn/Winter garden. When the temperatures go down, it will be more pleasant to do some yard work. But in the meantime, we planted some flower and melon seeds, which can handle the Texas heat much better. The sunflowers will also provide some well needed shade. And they will make good poles for the beans, later. Zinnias love this kind of weather. And the watermelons and cantaloupe have a good warm start to produce. Usually, we’ll harvest the fruits by mid-November.

Vegetables And A Duck Nest In The Church Garden

On Saturday, I saw a duck waddle around the Community/Church Garden. She didn’t want to go too far away from the potato bed in the Church Garden. One of the ladies, who volunteers in the Community Garden came over a little bit later. I told her about the duck. When we looked through the potato bed, we discovered a nest, with two eggs and two potatoes in there. I guess, when the duck scratched a little dent, the potatoes got “excavated” by her. Working on a border around in front of the Community Garden beds, we were far enough from the duck. The bird felt comfortable enough to sit on the nest. Later, when I checked again she must have gotten startled and flew off into the community across the street. We were worried, she wouldn’t come back, that day.

A few days later, the lady checked on the nest. This time the duck had laid several more eggs in the nest, and covered them up with some potato leaves and a few twigs. I was glad, when she told me about the duck must have been back.

After lunch I went over to the Community Garden, today. When I’m not sure if the beds need water, I always poke my finger into the soil. It still looked good. The duck was here. But she didn’t like it, when I moved around looking at the vegetables and the soil. So she flew off, again. … Maybe Ms. Daisy doesn’t like me ??? … 😦 πŸ˜‰ I used the opportunity to look at her nest. Yep, everything was still tucked in. After capturing a photo, I left the potato bed alone.

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Woohoo! We have a duck nest in the Church Garden.

The Church Garden is coming along very well. The peas and tomatoes are in bloom; the first bell peppers are growing; the Swiss chard and carrots are getting bigger; and the onions are showing some bulb surrounded by soil. Our Community Garden seems to take a little bit longer. But we also started a little bit later.

Overall, I’m very happy with all this sprouting and a duck nest in the Garden.

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UPDATE OF THE DUCK’S NEST on 05-03-2017: Sadly I must say, some critter must have found the duck’s nest and “stole” the eggs. One of the Garden Volunteer ladies found broken duck egg shells in the garden. Well, it was nice while it lasted. At least, a duck considered the Church Garden as a nesting place for her offspring.

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