Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

pigs, pullets and pumpkin seeds

We've just passed the halfway mark in July, which also marks the halfway point for summer, meaning not just July, but all of summer is half gone. But worse than that, I've missed another pumpkin planting deadline.

For the countless year in a row, I've forgotten to plant the pumpkin seeds. Just like the Christmas cards I buy each November--then write out and address but never mail--I've stocked up on pumpkin seeds, yet again, that will never find their way into the dirt. Which means I will be buying my pumpkins from the farmers market again, instead of watching my very own seeds grow into mighty pumpkins before my eyes.  

I have just one thing to say about that...crap.  

I've lost track of how many years I've wanted to plant my own pumpkins. Ever since the year a rotting jack-o-lantern ended up in the compost heap and we discovered an entire pumpkin patch growing in the back yard. Totally in the wrong season, I might add.

My dream pumpkins

My dream pumpkins

I was sure I would have a proper pumpkin patch once we moved to the farm. I had my rows of seeds lined up on the counter, just waiting for someone to dig me a hole. Oh, I know what you're thinking, "go dig your own hole," right? But it doesn't take a genius to realize I'm not cut out for digging holes or preparing planting beds. I'm more of a  director . I'm the one who says, "no, a little more to the left, honey. That's it! Now back to the right...just a little more." Then I drop the seeds in the hole and push the dirt back over them. I'm really good at pouring stuff on the ground. Just ask the chickens. I'm their favorite feeder. Even the little pullets (young hens for you non-farm people out there) follow me around outside. They know I'm good at dumping the grain on the ground, but when it comes to serious farm stuff, it's time to call for the hus...I mean, the IDP.

Of course, even the virile IDP needs help from time to time. Just this weekend, I assisted in building the TCU (transport containment unit) to take the first two pigs to the giant freezer in the sky. I did an excellent job holding the wood panels while he screwed them together then secured them to the flatbed trailer. I even made design suggestions. Just between us, I had way better ideas, but you know men, you have to make them think it was their idea...shhhh.  

But when it comes to planting, I'm going to defer totally to him. That way, when it all goes to shit, it wasn't my idea. Speaking of shit...I may just dump the damn seeds in the pig pen. There's plenty of fertilizer in there. In fact, I'll bet pumpkins would grow like weeds in there. And the worst thing that could happen is nothing happens. Who knows, I might even end up with super-pumpkins. I could win a ribbon at the fair or something.

Or I could be stuck with the stinkiest pumpkins in Georgia. But at least I'd have pumpkins! 

Until the next time...I'll be lining up my seeds for planting day.

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.