Last week was busy with the harvesting of the productive garden volunteers that were not knowingly cultivated. Amongst those plants was the first batch of pumpkins.
Along with the corn, something also dragged a small but ripe pumpkin off, likely a raccoon but maybe a groundhog. It is a safe assumption that it had grabbed it by the stem, either with digits or by mouth regarding the two suspected pests respectively, to haul it off as I found the pumpkin itself laying stemless in the pasture.
Potentially due to the lack of rain and possibly due to my relentless hacking of the pumpkin foliage to keep the plant from smothering the blueberries and asparagus, one of the pumpkin plants yielding 14 small fruit had turned brown and with the stems and foliage being reclaimed by the soil beneath. It was time to claim those fruit before something else did. After adding a few scarred or slightly soft pumpkins to the compost pile, the total count harvested was 11:
Excitingly, two other pumpkin plants bearing huge mostly green fruit are still developing. Even more interestingly, those plants are still blooming heavily. As such, the practice of combating aphids and leaf eating pests with neem oil sprays are kept well away any blossoms on the farm. Even though neem oil is a very safe organic spray, bees can still carry contaminated pollen from treated flower back to the hive resulting in the poisoning of their brood. Thus even organic -icides are used strategically and in a manner that protects the human food as well as the creatures that work to provide it.