“P” is for Painful, Pumpkin and Patch

It is officially pumpkin season.

Of course, “pumpkin season” is year-round when you are married to a man who is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin. From the moment Jamie cut his 755-pound pumpkin from the vine last year, his thoughts turned to his new patch. He stalked Craigslist and reacted faster than Pavlov’s dog whenever anyone offered free compost. He raised worms in our garage (after my adamant protest against our basement). He built a pumpkin genetics Web site and updated his pumpkin blog, took various soil tests, and swapped seeds with growers around the world.

Like I said: a year-round obsession.

As I already documented, I went into the children’s playroom in the basement a few weeks ago and noticed a strange glow coming from the closet. In a Poltergeist-esque manner, I threw open the door, only to discover a makeshift greenhouse he called “The Grow Room.”

Law enforcement officers: I can assure you that he is only growing test pumpkins.

At least that is his claim.

Our winter has not been without its share of drama such as when when he realized some compost he received had sodium levels high enough to render the patch toxic. Or when he lost our 2-year-old son at the pumpkin patch (or in his words: momentary misplaced.)

He is mere weeks away from planting his seeds. The culmination of all his efforts will be at the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers weigh-off at the end of September where he hopes his pumpkin will tip the scale at over 1,000 pounds. The Colorado record is held by Wheat Ridge dentist Joe Sherber at 1,135 pounds.

Last year, we also attended our local harvest festival. We did not enter because 1) have you ever tried to repeatedly move a 755-pound pumpkin? 2) His pumpkin outweighed the winner by 400 pounds and would have broken their small scale.

Minor details.

Jamie did, however, capitalize on the situation. I was amused to see him distributing his pumpkin business cards (because evidently every giant pumpkin grower should have them). I may have some made up for myself this season as well:

Amber Johnson
Pumpkin Widow

Because misery is looking for company.

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