We held the Grand Opening for the Pumpkin Patch Community Garden on Saturday and it is exciting to see the boxes start to fill up. We also planted the pumpkin patch portion of the garden with mounds of wonderfully named pumpkins; Spooktacular, Jack-Be-Little, Casper (white), French Cinderella, Giant, Big Max, and of course, Jack 'O Lanterns. (pumpkins have the best names)
When I inquired of the Paper Mill last Spring about the possibility of a community garden on the barren empty lot, I was surprised to find out that it had been a pumpkin patch for a quarter century before the Bridge construction turned it into a hard packed bus turnaround. (I was also pleased along the way to find out I wasn't the only one thinking there was great potential for a community project at the site.)
As word spread about the project there were all these wonderful memories that started to emerge. People said, "That's where my parents took me every year to get our pumpkin for Halloween." Others pointed out that not only could you buy pumpkins there but there were kids' hay rides and other Fall festivities. It is remarkable how almost everyone seems to know what you're talking about when you mention the pumpkin patch. When it came time to name the site everyone agreed that it should be called the "Pumpkin Patch Community Garden" and that we should plant pumpkins again, bringing back the tradition that had left such a large impression.
So Saturday pumpkins returned to the patch for the first time in almost a decade. Kids ran under the sprinklers, jumped in mud puddles and rejoiced. I'm looking forward to cool Fall days when they return to pick out their special pumpkin.