The Southern Agrarian

Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Monte’s Pumpkin


Monte Poitevint
South Georgia

This picture shows the massive plant in the background, against my chicken pens. I never do anything to cultivate these pumpkins. They seemingly thrive on neglect. We throw our discarded pulp in the compost pile, and every year they come back. They love compost. I’ve tried planting them in my field with little success. My soil just isn’t rich enough for them, I guess. My compost consists of vegetable scraps and lots of chicken and rabbit manure. We got the original seeds from a neighbor years ago when he gave us a pumpkin he had grown (He grows them every year). The species itself is an unknown, but fairly common here in South Georgia. I believe it is an old Indian variety that has been grown here from generation to generation since the first settlers in the area, around 1820. At the auction where I sell my chickens, rabbits and produce, a fellow sets up every fall with a truck load of the same variety. He says he grows his in his field. He must have better soil than I do.

After harvesting, we cut the pumpkins up so as to fit on large pan, throw the pulp onto the compost pile, and bake them in an inch or two of water, skin and all (skin-side up), at 400 degrees till done, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. We then scoop the baked meat out of the skin and freeze it back to use throughout the year. Good years, when we produce more pumpkins than we can eat, I haul the surplus to the auction and sell them. In a cool, dark space they keep for months.


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5 Comments

  1. It should be added that this pumpkin weighed 41 pounds!, the largest I’ve grown to date.

  2. Monte Poitevint

    October 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

    An update: This is one great year for pumpkins, especially giant pumpkins! Yesterday, I harvested one at 45 and one at 48.5 lbs!

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      October 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

      That’s great, Monte! Congratulations, sir. We’ve had a good year this year also. Almost daily rains have made things grow like I haven’t seen in a long time. I sure feel sorry for the folks in the part of the country that are drying up and blowing away. We went through that several years ago and I hope it doesn’t get like that again.

  3. we have pumpkins that come up from me cleaning bird cages. last year they took over the whole front of the house…..they were awesome. we got 35 pumkins.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      October 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

      It’s always fun to see what will pop up where you didn’t intend. I got lazy this year and didn’t get a Fall crop of tomatoes planted, but we’re got some nice ones that came up as volunteers.

      By the way, I love your name – “sweetsuthern”

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