So it turns out that despite repeated attacks by the groundhog, my little babe is going to have at least one orange pumpkin and there are several more in various stages of growth. We also have a mysterious squash vine that was a volunteer from the compost pile. From its shape and rapid growth, I believe it is a Pennsylvania Longneck Squash. Currently there are about 7 of them, but I spy another new one every day.
Their smooth texture and elongated shape remind me of pulled taffy. In the deep of Winter last year, my husband brought a huge specimen home from the farmers market and I was able to make several dishes out of one squash - muffins, fritters, soups. They can get huge, so as long as the frost doesn't come early, we could actually grow all of the squash that we'll need this year. We also have a butternut squash in the back garden that has taken off now that the rabbits have left it alone. It seems like every day I spot another tiny squash hidden under the big green leaves. While I am excited that the cattle panels are being put to the test and are now completely covered, I hate to think about removing all of those dead vines. There are a lot of coiled tendrils!
It is unbelievable how fast squash and pumpkins grow. Sometimes gardening is heartbreak and frustration, other times pure wonder and delight.