At the risk of leading the infrequent reader to believe this is a blog solely about pumpkin, allow me a moment to make one final post about this serial cucurbit for the season. I can make this assurance with certainty; because said pumpkin's dominance of the yard came to an abrupt end yesterday as I pulled its dying vine from the ground.
Inevitably mildew ran its course over a particularly damp February - and most of the plant was taking its final bows, with older leaves browning off and much of the newer growth taking on a cloudy white appearance. Mind you, pulling it out was still quite an effort; as even a dying, established pumpkin vine is
something I wouldn't hesitate to grab if I ever found one growing on my
way to a lengthy drop to the ground. I found a host of smaller
fruit hiding beneath what remained of the foliage as I heaved it from the soil - so I've
built a respectable tally (pictured; minus the two that have already made their way into kitchen) - each of the larger ones will easily make a portion of every meal over the good part of a month.
While it pains me to throw out any green waste; to compost these vines will only result in increasing the mildew problem I have - because to kill mildew spores, you'd need a compost heap running at a hot-as-hell setting; as opposed to the recently-used-seat-cushion setting of my own compost bins. So begrudgingly, I stuffed half a cubic meter of rotting pumpkin vine into our green waste bin and hauled it to the curb. Maybe not the most dignified end for the season's most productive plant - but at least it gets one final salute from the garbage truck.