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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