Monday, October 31, 2016
My long time readers will remember that I owned a pumpkin business for many years and used all my profits from that to put myself through six years of college. (I didn't get an advanced degree, it just took me six year!) I've posted several pictures over the years but never had one of the pumpkin patch itself (I think) until now. I found it in a tray of my parents slides that I've been scanning into digital format. Behold!
In it you can see the beginning of harvest as my brother and I started picking and rowing the pumpkins. This picture was in our early years of the operation when we mostly sold to roadside produce stands and the truck in the picture belonged to one of our customers. As we got older and wiser, we hired high school kids looking for fundraisers to come pick pumpkins for an evening after school. We could get a lot more people helping for not very much money. I'm glad they never figured that one out. Even with all the people, we always rowed our pumpkins and then in the later years would drive the semi trailers between the rows and again using high school labor, load two rows into the back of the semi as the driver slowly moved through the field.
We started off with a bumper crop out of our regular garden one year which then grew to a quarter of an acre which grew to three acres, then five as in these pictures and eventually ten acres in our final couple years. We also branched out and grew sweetcorn, popcorn and ornamental gourds and pumpkins as well. In the picture below you can see the trailer that (I'm guessing my dad) the person taking the photo used to get a scale of the five acre plot.
Finally below, you can see the stock trailer that this particular customer used to transport pumpkins to his various roadside stands. Notice the stacking method my brother and I used to preserve the stems. We laid the first row on their sides and then subsequent layers with the stems pointing down through the cracks in the layers below. One reason we got more business than our competitors was because our stacking method allowed us to get more pumpkins in a load while still preserving the stems so they could be used as jack-o-lantern handles.