Pumpkins, spider webs, ghosts, witches, and zombies are making their annual appearance up and down the streets of the neighborhood as Halloween decorations pop up everywhere. My front porch sports Hijinks with Baby Pam in a Field of Dreams.
That’s Hijinks pumpkin, an All-America Selections Winner in the center of the photo above. Hijinks is a small (7 to 9 pounds) pumpkin that develops brilliant orange color just 100 days from planting. The plant has good resistance to powdery mildew, but I found that squash bugs love it just as much as any other pumpkin or squash variety. It’s flanked by Baby Pam pumpkin, which matures even sooner. Its 4- to 5-pound fruits are reportedly excellent for cooking and baking, too. (Pumpkin pie, anyone?) Both varieties are an excellent size for little kids to handle.
Field of Dreams ornamental corn rounds out the display. This new variety is extremely decorative. Through the growing season, it brightens the garden with striped foliage (see below). The mature ears of corn are solidly one color but vary from shades of mahogany and maroon to deep yellow orange. The ears filled well in my garden, even though my granddaughter and I planted only two rows about 8 feet long. As you can see, the tiny plot yielded ears with mostly dark kernels. As a bonus, Field of Dreams can be used as popcorn, too! The initial test of its popping quality earlier this week at our household was pronounced, “Delicious!”
We’ll be sharing the pumpkins and popcorn with our grandchildren. After all, Halloween is for kids of all ages, isn’t it?