The Great Pumpkin Adventures of Diana Doucet
Chapter One - Going to California

Winter 1999-2000 Thanks to generous growers and the members of the Mallorn pumpkin list, seeds from some of the biggest, orangest  pumpkins ever grown pack up thier embryonic cotyledons and wing it to sunny california.

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Made up my mind
to make a new start
Going to California
with an aching in my heart.

Someone told me
there's a girl out there
with love in her eyes
and flowers in her hair.

January 5 A period of rain is followed by a dry spell.  The cold earth is dry enough to turn over.  Two sites are planted with a winter cover crop.  The rear site is planted in purple vetch and austrian winter peas.  The front site is planted in crimson clover and red corn poppies.
February The rains return. It rains the entire month of February and the first few weeks of March.
March After the rains early in the month, beautiful weather returns to Northern California.  The cover crops are up and growing well. 
March 28  The cover crop on the rear site is mature and the soil is dry enough so it is plowed under.
April 5 Work begins to prepare the front pumpkin patch.  A twelve by twelve patch is tilled up, a yard of compost and manure is added along with some gypsum and sulfate of ammonia (21,0,0).


April 8  A 12 by 12 site is prepared in the rear patch.  A 30' by 30' area is treated with gypsum.


April 24  The french double dig method is used to further prepare a home for the main stem.  A four by six area is dug down to two feet.  More compost and manure is added.


April 24 The seeds are soaked for four hours and go into one gallon pots filled with planting mix.  Seeds started include: 850 Hester, 875 Dill, 846 Calia, 947 Patrick, 760 Patrick, and 937 Mombert (thanks Wayne)


April 24 The pumpkin pots all nestled comfortably in the germination chamber - 
(also used as a portable greenhouse.)


The mountains and the canyons
begin to tremble and shake.
The children of the sun
begin to awake.

April 29 The 850 Hester and the 846 Calia push up into the light. 
May 1 The 875 Dill sees the light.  Started two more Patricks and a 875 Dill as back-ups.
May 3 The 937 Mombert starts to stir.  Planted the 850 Hester and the 846 Calia side by side in the rear site for a face-off to the death.  May the biggest orangest pumpkin win. (Hester on left)

May 4 The 875 Dill planted on May 1 throws up it's head.  No signs of life from two 947 Patricks and two 760 Patricks - they lie frozen in time, all motion suspended.   I write them a poem, rub their pots and bath them in music... 

don't be afraid, 
to touch the heat, 
feel the warmth 
through your soul creep 
and awaken
from your deep sleep.


May 5  Soil begins to bulge in the pots of the 760 and 947 Patricks planted on May 1.  Music and poetry have broken the unearthly spell on the Patrick seeds. 

The Magic begins...

Ride a white mare
through the foot steps of dawn.
The magic begins
The moment you are born.

Home Continued

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