Patti’s Private Pumpkin Patch

The garden smells of decay, the leaves drying and swirling, flowers blackening, bees swarming for the last of the nectar.  The tomatoes are fading, the pumpkins ripening, neon shades of orange, some still a faded green.  They are stocked in bins outside the grocery and hardware stores, gourds in nets, ready for picking–and payment by weight.

But, my friend Patti has been visiting a pay-by-the-carload pumpkin patch north of the IL border for fifteen years, packing the car with a rainbow of pumpkins. We played a couple hour of hooky to visit her secret spot earlier this week, gathering pumpkins on their opening day.  What fun we had on a lovely autumn afternoon!  The first car in, we parked by an open field dotted with pumpkins, scattered gourds on the ground. We traipsed back and forth, pumpkins in hand, tiny ones in a bucket piling higher, the trunk filling.

babies
babies

Once the car was filled with green and orange pumpkins, tall and round and skull-shaped ones, the search was on for the elusive white pumpkin.  We wandered in the fields, sneaking a few more treasures, but we only found four small white ones intermingled with the orange ones.

A full load!
A full load!

All this, for only $65.  Plus an afternoon of  sun, searching through fields, spending time with a good friend.  Worth the late nights catching up working. Plus, the porch looks great with the decorations, and the kids are ready to carve them, toasting the seeds.  C

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