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I am now on the board for the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, which so far has been such an enjoyable experience. The board members are this incredibly ecclectic group of wildly successful hippies who love to garden. They’ve taken me under their wing and I feel a little like I’ve found my tribe. At the last meeting, between gulps of homemade wine brought by a member who grows her own grapes, bites of mangoes from another member’s tree, and slices of chocolate cake from a Betty Crocker mix that I baked (woops) — I heard that a failed pumpkin crop can be rejuvenated in Phoenix this time of year.  It seems counterintuitive to plant anything this time of year here, but these folks know what they are talking about.

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I’d planted pumpkins several months ago and they either got too much sun or not enough water. Regardless, they are all goners. It made me so sad, especially considering how great those sunflowers did! Plus, nothing makes me feel like such a failure than when I can’t keep little plants alive. The recipe is so basic: good soil + sun + water = happy plants.

Taking their advice, I bought a new bunch of seeds and some organic compost this weekend. Two hours of clearing out yucky garden left-overs, turning the compost and washing the patio furniture, I also had these babies planted. Today I’m researching the best food and watering conditions for pumpkins. The timing is just right — they should be perfect come October 31st.  I have this ridiculous dream of inviting my many friends with children over to pick their own pumpkins.

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Let’s hope I don’t make any promises too early. I could very well end up looking like a giant ass, although I do have a backup plan that involves strategically placed grocery-store pumpkins.

Pumpkins are certainly one of my favorite vegetables. They remind me of my dad, who calls me Pumpkin, and the fall — which really is the happiest time of year in Phoenix.