In a fit of early 80s Normal Rockwellism, my parents tried growing our Halloween pumpkins in our garden one year. They didn't turn orange in time and we ended up carving up green pumpkins, with just small webs of orange peeking though, that year. I remember my Dad being beside himself about it. I loved the whole process so much that I've had a massive soft spot for green-tinged pumpkins ever since.
But that's not my point. The point is that I've got a pumpkin that's ready NOW (it's still August). What do I do with it? Put it in the refrigerator for 2 months? It's not very large but I can scarcely spare the room. With a toddler seeing that pumpkin every day for 2 months... It's a headache in the making. 
There are at least 2 others in the patch that are still green, still growing larger and rounder as each day goes by. I was hoping that our tiny but mighty pumpkin patch would provide that same Norman Rockwell experience my parents wanted for me, for my daughter. One level darker, I'm REALLY hoping, wishing and praying that our tiny patch will make it unnecessary to go to a commercial pumpkin patch, where sad pony rides, hot/lukewarm apple cider and too many people ruin my day.
My husband would tell you that it's un-American that I want to avoid that crap as long as possible. But I do. Holy Curcurbita. I do!
Before I go and find a hiding spot for a small pumpkin, let me share with you my highly delicate and sensitive pumpkin planting method. 
Step 1: Take home pumpkins for free when no one else wants them, after Thanksgiving. Take them off garbage piles, front stoops and where ever else you can find them.
Step 2: Throw them around your yard in places that aren't obnoxious. In shrubs, behind pots. Whatever. 
Step 3: Harvest your pumpkins at the end of August
Step 4: Hide your harvest from your toddler

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