** Thanks to everyone that commented or e-mailed after the last post, your ideas got me going again. Stay tuned for more regular updates. **
My Grandpa Toppe had a farm in my hometown. He raised some cattle and chickens. However, the livestock were gone by the time I came around. What sticks in my memory is his pumpkin patch. Every year he would grow pumpkins behind the barn and garage. Most years they did really well. There were enough pumpkins in that patch for my parents to throw a party and have their friends, and all their kids, come to the farm and pick their own.
So, my goal at our farm has been to grow pumpkins, just like my grandpa. But that goal has proven to be a challenging one. Over the years we've lost pumpkin plants to fungal diseases, squash-vine borers, and general neglect. This year we thought the same thing would happen. The patch was overtaken by weeds (purposefully put there by the gas company?) so we didn't have much hope.
But, look what we did yesterday!
I've never harvested anything with tears in my eyes, but I did yesterday. I guess I wanted pumpkins much more than I thought. It was a dream coming true and I was filled with joy.
We loaded them up and took them to the house to clean up and set on the porch. They are nice decorations for now, but we'll eat some of them eventually.
I was thinking about Grandpa Toppe all day, and I hope he would be happy with our harvest.