10/12/2010

40 Thousand Pumpkins

My little pumpkin patch here at Long Creek Herb Farm didn't produce anything this year. Between the squash bugs and the 6 weeks of drought, the vines just gave up. But look what you can do if you have 40,000 pumpkins to play with. This is what I saw being constructed when I was at the Dallas Botanic Garden a few weeks ago.
Jimmy Turner, our kind host for the Botanic Garden at the Garden Writers of America conference, sent these photos along (and some pix are mine, as well).
This is the entry way into an impressive pumpkin village, which includes a pumpkin gazebo, a pumpkin house, kids games and more pumpkins than you could ever imagine.

The pumpkin hut, below, was still covered with planters filled with vines that had covered the entire walls on all sides when I last visited. (Vertical gardening is big this year, possibly a response to people who have a small place to garden; going up, on walls, takes the place of traditional horizontal planting). Here it is before, followed by how it looks now. Notice the planters covering the walls with the vines growing out of each one.


 Same building, different view, after being taken over by the pumpkins.


Here, going just for design, the various colors are arranged to surprise the eyes. And it is truly an amazing surprise, seeing all of those punkin's there in one place.

But the biggest and best structure is the pumpkin gazebo, in my opinion.

I couldn't help but wonder, who gets the pumpkins after the exhibit? Do they go to a homeless shelter for pies? Hog ranch for hog feed? Maybe they have a big compost pile at the Botanic Garden. I'll ask. Or if you're curious where all the pumpkins go after they're done with them, ask Jimmy Turner, I'm sure he has the answer.

While posting this, I had cookies baking in the oven. This is a favorite recipe a friend gave me decades ago. I'm guessing it may have originated in the old Moosewood cookbook, but I'm not certain. These are substantial relatively healthy cookies, simple, not too sweet and pretty much no-fail.

Clean out the Pantry Cookies

2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Mix ingredients in the order they're listed. Then add any of the following, up to 1/2 cup of each:
Grape-Nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, cornflakes, Raisin-Bran, coconut, peanut butter, chocolate chips.
If, after adding from the above, the mixture is too dry, add another egg and mix again

Drop by teaspoonful onto an oiled cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 10-12 minutes. I like my cookies larger, so I use about 1/4 cup per cookie and bake them about 14 minutes. Today I also added Craisins, pecans, coconut and sesame seed.Wonder how some pumpkin in the cookies would be?

10 comments:

Cottage Tails said...

wow that was such an amazing display!
Thanks so much for sharing - the kids & I really enjoyed looking.
Seems funny looking at all the blogs harvesting pumpkins where here in NZ we are just planting out.

Love Leanne

Steven Anthony said...

OK, I want a hut made from pumkins, that is way cool;)

And those cookies, well lets just say the oven is warming up as I type...yummers;)

lemonverbenalady said...

Thanks for sharing the pumpkin village, Jim and I love your baking! These look delicious! Thanks for sharing as always!

compost in my shoe said...

Whole thing made me hungry for pumpkin pie!

Randy and Jamie said...

I'm pretty sure I have everything we need to make these cookies at home. Mmmmmmmmm I know what I'll be doing tonight!--Randy

Jean said...

Oh my gosh, I'm getting so hungry! Those cookies look awesome. Loved that pumpkin village, although I was wilting by the time I got there and didn't take many photos!

Rhonda Daniels said...

Yum, the cookies look good! what a bautiful display of pumpkins. Mine were wiped out by squash bugs and a huge horde of cucumber beetles this year as well :(

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Jim dear, this is FANTASTIC. In a couple of days I'll post about our Pumpkinfest here in Maine, but WOW, I am impressed.

Love xx,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

JoyceP said...

That pumpkin village is incredible. If I was a little kid I'd think I'd wandered into Fairyland. . . .

Terra said...

Love the pumpkin displays.